JOHOR BARU: The Government has yet to finalise the proposed intra-city commuter train (ICCT) project for Iskandar Malaysia as the proposal is still open to others.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who is also Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) co-chairman said that to date, only one company has submitted its proposal to develop the project.
“It is still open to everybody and we welcome others who are interested to submit their proposals to us,'' he said in a press conference on Saturday before a briefing on progress at Iskandar Malaysia.
Abdul Ghani said, Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN) had recently submitted its proposal to the Government to develop the rail network covering 100km to serve all the major suburbs in Iskandar Malaysia.
MCN is a joint-venture company between KUB Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Sdn Bhd and it had proposed to construct and operate the RM1.23bil train transit network.
The ICCT is expected to start operations by 2013, with total deployment of 19 three-car trains.
Under the MCN's proposal, it would build seven new stations along the route together with 16 halts and the train network to include a shuttle service from JB Sentral to Woodlands in Singapore.
He said the ICCT system would use the existing KTM railway track connecting Johor Baru, Kulai, Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Pelepas.
Abdul Ghani said the ICCT network would be part of the integrated transport system covering 500km in Iskandar Malaysia which include bus rapid transit and other transportation support systems.
“The proposed extension of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) from Singapore to Johor Baru will require the implementation of the double-tracking railway from Gemas to Johor Baru,'' he said.
He said squatters living along the railway track in Johor Baru had agreed to be relocated temporarily to Kempas for the double-tracking railway project, while squatters in Gemas, Segamat and Kluang would be offered to buy houses or lands.
Abdul Ghani said that with the relocation of the railway station from Tanjung Pagar to Woodlands by July 1, 2011, Kempas Baru would be developed into an integrated transportation hub for Iskandar Malaysia.
“We could either choose JB Sentral or Kempas Baru for the hub, but the latter is obviously the right choice as it has 80.93ha land area for development,'' he said.
On unrelated matters, Abdul Ghani said the recent episode of malpractices committed by former senior officials of Iskandar Investment Bhd which made news headlines would not affect investment flow to Iskandar Malaysia.
He said business was usual at Iskandar Malaysia and the episode was unlikely to deter potential investors from investing in the economic growth corridor.
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