State revives cable car project

THE idea to build a cable car up Penang Hill has been revived, this time in the hill’s Special Area Plan (SAP) draft.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said a cable car link between the Penang Municipal Park, formerly Youth Park, to the hill and possibly onwards to Teluk Bahang was among the proposals in the draft.

“However, the detailed route was unable to be shown in the plan,” Lim said in his speech before opening the public inspection of the SAP draft at the hill’s lower station yesterday.

He said other projects in the draft included improving the hill’s nature trails, hotel and chalet development.

The draft is open for public viewing from 9am to 4.30pm on working days until Dec 11 at the lower station and in Komtar’s Level Three concourse area.

Lim said the SAP was prepared to consider the best method to manage Penang Hill and to identify the projects that could be done.

“With the SAP, it will enable Penang Hill to strengthen its position as a tourist site in Penang,” he added.

Lim said the state government allocated RM588,578 to prepare the SAPs for Penang Hill and Botanic Gardens.

He urged the public to give their feedback on the draft to the Penang Hill Corporation during the inspection period.

There had been several proposals to build a cable car to Penang Hill in the past but nothing had materialised thus far.

According to press reports, the state government toyed with the idea of a Penang Hill cable car project from as far back as 1990, though serious consideration on the project only began in 1999.

In mid-2008, state exco member Danny Law Heng Kiang revealed that the state had received two proposals on the project — an RM80mil proposal linking Teluk Bahang to Penang Hill and a RM60mil proposal with Youth Park as the starting point.

In February 2009, the state government invited tenders for a private finance initiative project to build a cable car from the Botanic Gardens to the hill but none of the bidders fulfilled its requirements.

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