HSR must not lose speed
THE high-speed rail (HSR) project connecting Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur to Jurong East in Singapore will be the most prestigious infrastructure in the next few years.
The various companies involved in the project have started lining up their partners for the project, estimated to cost RM175bil.
The primary focus now is to get the project up and running to connect KL and Singapore by end-2026.
The alignment has been set. It was reported that there are seven stops in Malaysia before the train goes across the Second Link to Singapore.
The entire journey running across the 350km route is supposed to take 90 minutes. There are already questions being raised if the train can regularly handle the 90-minute journey with seven stops in between.
Now, there could be an eighth stop – at Forest City.
According to unconfirmed reports, the reason is to cater to the 200,000 residents who will be residing in Forest City when the reclaimed island project is fully developed in 20 years’ time.
The request apparently comes from Chinabased Country Garden Development, the developer of Forest City.
Country Garden has embarked on an ambitious project to reclaim land and develop the island, incurring a huge capital outlay in the process.
Whether Country Garden gets its way with the HSR is something that the authorities will decide. Probably, they would consider the cost of putting up an additional stop and whether there would be disruption to the schedule of completion.
However, the decision makers must not lose sight of the primary objective of the HSR. The 90-minute connection between KL and Singapore is imperative.
The additional stops must not lose sight of the objective of the project.