ARNOLD LOH, R. SEKARAN, LO TERN CHERN and N. TRISHA at the Penang State Assembly
AN underpass would be the best option to alleviate traffic congestion in Mount Erskine, Penang, instead of a flyover.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic) said there was no other alternative but to build an underpass under the planned Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) project.
Chow was responding to an oral question by Chris Lee (PH-Pulau Tikus), who asked what were the infrastructure projects coming up in Mount Erskine.
He also asked if the people affected by the underpass would be fairly compensated and what was the traffic impact if the project was not implemented.
Chow replied that the affected residents would be compensated in accordance with the market value of their properties, with the valuation done by the Valuation and Property Services Department.
“Those who are not satisfied with the compensation given have the right to seek redress, ” he said at the state assembly sitting on Wednesday.
Chow also said according to the Traffic Impact Assessment Report (TIA), the number of vehicles along Pulau Tikus was expected to increase by 4.15% annually with daily traffic movement projected to increase by 8,500 in 2024.
“If this project is not implemented, if would have a direct impact on the economic development in the area due to continued gridlock at the junction of Jalan Gottlieb, Jalan Bagan Jermal, Jalan Burma and Mount Erskine, ” he added.
On the infrastructure projects, Chow said 10,000 residential units would be built at Jalan Mount Erskine, Jalan Fettes and Jalan Lembah Permai in 2024 when the underpass linking Jalan Mount Erskine and Jalan Burma is completed.
In September, several residents in the area had called for the RM30mil underpass to be scrapped claiming it would encroach into their land.
They also claimed that they were kept in the dark and were shocked when they received a letter for land acquisition from the Land Office in May.
The acquisition, they alleged would adversely affect their homes and the state government should have engaged them before gazetting the project in 2017.
The controversial 19.5km PIL1 is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan which is a RM9.6bil highway connecting Gurney Drive and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway near the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone Phase lV.
Work on the project is set to commence in June next year.