TWO public projects under the Special Area Plan (SAP) of George Town World Heritage Site will be expedited amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The Penang local government committee chairman said next year would see the completion of the Esplanade wall upgrading works and the commencement of the Fort Cornwallis moat restoration project.
“The seawall project will be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
“We want the place to be ready for people to visit once the pandemic is over.
“The moat reinstatement project of Fort Cornwallis will be implemented next year.
“Public projects have to move forward and there should not be any delay due to the pandemic.
“We will continue to monitor the progress,” said Jagdeep outside Fort Cornwallis on Monday.
The seawall upgrading project involves a stretch of 570m from Medan Renong food court to the Royal Malaysian Navy Base.
The Fort Cornwallis moat restoration project is part of the North Seafront Masterplan that starts from Dewan Sri Pinang (to the west) to Fort Cornwallis and the entrance to Swettenham Pier (to the east).
These two projects are part of the 14 projects under the RM140mil masterplan.
The GTCDC, a partnership between the Penang government and Think City, has been formed to spearhead the rejuvenation and restoration of select public assets in the heritage site.
It is meant to enhance the appeal and value of key monuments and public open spaces, and demonstrate the value of culture-based urban regeneration in creating a sustainable heritage city.
To date, among the 14 major initiatives completed were the restoration of Koh Seang Tatt Fountain Garden, improvement of Lebuh Light streetscape, upgrading of Esplanade field subsoil system and numerous planning documents produced to assist with the physical implementation.
On Penang Hill, Jagdeep said contrary to naysayers, the Unesco listing of the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve is a testimony of the state’s commitment to protect the hill.
“We’ll not do anything to endanger the status.
“It’s not an easy feat to receive such a recognition.
“It’s definitely a feather in the cap for the state and all who made it possible,” he said.
On the Penang Hill cable car project, Jagdeep said it would not affect the biosphere status as the state would implement the project with utmost care for the environment.
“There are many countries in the world which have designated hills as a biosphere reserve with bigger cable car projects, yet they can maintain the status.
“We are serious in having a balanced development, in line with the sustainable development goals under the Penang Hill SAP,” he said.