Fears over en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of high­way project

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY ED­MUND LEE

GE­ORGE TOWN: Threats to the en­vi­ron­ment were among con­cerns voiced by res­i­dents near the pro­posed 12km Tan­jung Bun­gah to Teluk Ba­hang paired road dur­ing a fo­rum on Satur­day.

Joleen Yap, 26, ex­pressed con­cern over the flora and fauna at the hilly and forested area. She said the nat­u­ral habi­tat played a piv­otal role in main­tain­ing the bal­ance of the ecosys­tem and its loss may also de­prive the state of a po­ten­tial eco­tourism lo­ca­tion.

The fo­rum was or­gan­ised by Tan­jung Bun­gah assem­bly­man Teh Yee Cheu.

Trop­i­cal Spice Gar­den di­rec­tor Kather­ine Chua, who spoke about wa­ter catch­ment ar­eas be­ing threat­ened by the project, called for an En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment to be done.

Pe­nang Is­land City Coun­cil coun­cil­lor Lim Mah Hui ques­tioned the ne­ces­sity for the road as the funds could be used to pro­vide a bet­ter pub­lic trans­port sys­tem and pedes­trian net­works.

The project is one of three high­way projects be­ing planned, in­clud­ing a 4.6km by­pass from Air Itam to Le­buhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu and a 4.2km by­pass from Gur­ney Drive to Le­buhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

The projects part of a RM6.3 bil­lion trans­porta­tion project that in­cludes a 6.5km un­der­sea tun­nel to con­nect Gur­ney Drive on the is­land to Ba­gan Ajam on the main­land, to be built by Con­sor­tium Zenith BUCG (CZBUCG) Sdn Bhd.

CZBUCG ex­ec­u­tive vice-chair­man Datuk Lee Chee Hoe said the road was be­ing built to over­come traf­fic woes and also to pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive route in times of emer­gen­cies.

Pe­nang Works, Util­i­ties and Trans­porta­tion Com­mit­tee chair­man Lim Hock Seng said the state has taken note of the con­cerns raised.

He said feed­back from pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions would as­sist plan­ners in ad­dress­ing and re­solv­ing is­sues which may arise.

“Work on this road is ex­pected to be­gin in the mid­dle of next year and sched­uled to be com­pleted by 2020.”

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