Pe­nang Fo­rum wants eco-re­view of PIL 1

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

GEORGE TOWN: Pe­nang Fo­rum, a loose coali­tion of about 40 NGOs, is call­ing for an in­de­pen­dent panel to do a sci­en­tific re­view on the En­vi­ron­ment Im­pact Assess­ment (EIA) of the Pan Is­land Link 1 (PIL 1).

Pe­nang Fo­rum mem­ber Dr Lim Mah Hui claimed that the EIA did not ful­fil a stip­u­la­tion of the En­vi­ron­ment Qual­ity Act (EQA) 1974 that re­quires al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions to jus­tify that the project will re­sult in the least en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

“Be­sides, the cost-ben­e­fit anal­y­sis has not taken into ac­count the present and fu­ture costs and ex­ter­nal fac­tors such as eco­nomic, en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial, health and other kinds of costs.

“The EIA also fails to jus­tify the need for con­struct­ing the PIL 1 as find­ings show that the high­way will reach con­ges­tion level by 2030,” he said yes­ter­day.

Dr Lim added that pri­or­ity must be given to pub­lic trans­port and that pri­vate cars should be clas­si­fied as “sec­ond class cit­i­zens”.

Re­tired Pro­fes­sor of the school of En­vi­ron­men­tal Law in Univer­sity of New Mex­ico Lora Lucero, who was also present at the press con­fer­ence, said that there should be other al­ter­na­tives sug­gested in the EIA.

The Pe­nang In­dian Mus­lim com­mu­nity has urged the state govern­ment to carry out the Pe­nang Trans­port Master­plan (PTMP) as soon as pos­si­ble.

“What we are do­ing now is for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tion.

“When the trans­port sys­tem in Pe­nang has im­proved, the tourism, busi­ness and fac­tory sec­tor will grow rapidly.

The num­ber of in­vestors in Pe­nang will in­crease,” said Tan­jung Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion and Pe­nang Chowrasta Bazaar Traders As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Mo­hamed Nasir Mo­hideen.

The PIL 1 is an in­te­gral part of the PTMP, de­signed to solve the is­land state’s traf­fic con­ges­tion and cater to the eco­nomic needs of Pe­nang over the next five decades.

The first phase of the PTMP is the con­struc­tion of the PIL 1 and the Bayan Lepas LRT.

Cur­rently, the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu (LCE) Ex­press­way is Pe­nang’s only spine road, which is per­pet­u­ally con­gested.

PIL 1 is ex­pected to serve as a sec­ond link with a ring traf­fic dis­per­sal sys­tem con­nect­ing the North Coast Paired Road (NCPR), Gur­ney Ex­press­way, LCE, Pe­nang Air­port, and, the first and sec­ond Pe­nang bridges.

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