Fears over environmental impact of highway project
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.”