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Tuesday April 13, 2010

Link to connect Bayan Lepas to Teluk Kumbar proposed

A RM50mil road connecting Teluk Kumbar to Bayan Lepas in Penang is at the top of the Balik Pulau Barisan Nasional division’s wish list for the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Division chairman Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said apart from proposals sent by the state government, he had also sent a separate list of proposals to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) on behalf of his division.

“The Balik Pulau/Bayan Lepas road is currently under construction so now, the only missing link is a road connecting Teluk Kumbar to Bayan Lepas.

“Our proposal details a four-lane 4km road, in which half of the Bayan Lepas town will have to be acquired,” he told reporters after closing a Community Carnival held in conjunction with the Penang National Park’s seventh anniversary on Sunday where the Kerachut Conservation Run was also held.

Just rewards: Kerachut Conservation Run winners Mohamed Hafiz Mansor (right) and Stephanie Chong holding up their challenge trophies. The run was held in conjunction with the Penang National Park’s seventh anniversary.

Dr Hilmi said road congestion was bound to get worse after the Second Penang Bridge, linking Batu Kawan to Batu Maung, was completed as road users would feed into the existing roads en route to Bayan Lepas.

“Currently, the roads are heavily congested every morning on weekdays as 20,000 residents in Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Batu travel out of the outskirts for work.”

He added that a proposal to build a cultural centre in the Balik Pulau area was also among the “many” proposals sent to EPU, but declined to elaborate on the other suggestions.

On a related matter, Dr Hilmi said he had been in contact with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), the implementation body of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), to transform three old warehouses at the Swettenham Pier into a duty free traders’ centre.

“Two warehouses are empty while one is being used for storage. They are heritage buildings, so we cannot demolish them but we can modify them to suit our purposes,” he said, adding that the buildings had been under-utilised for as long as he could remember.

He said the area could be filled with both local and foreign shops that would serve the one million expected tourists coming to Penang by cruise this year.

“We also want to incorporate a place for cultural shows where tourists and locals alike can visit for food and drinks.”

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