SUNGAI SIPUT: The first phase of the 169km East-Coast Highway from Karak to Kuantan will be delayed by 11 months, said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
The project, scheduled to be completed by Aug 14, this year, would be completed by July 14, next year, he said.
Samy Vellu said the delay was due to various factors such as collapsing slopes, swampy land, the North-East monsoon and labour shortage.
Due to landslides at several parts of the highway, he said hill-cutting and slope stabilisation works had to be carried out while soil treatment at swampy areas had to be done using the pile embankment method.
He said the North-East monsoon which hit the east coast from October last year to March and again in September had also caused difficulties.
Work was also delayed as many of the foreign labourers working on the project were sent home under the repatriation exercise last July, he said, adding, however that the Government had given its approval to rehire labourers.
The first phase of the construction by MTD Capital Bhd cost RM1.3mil, he said.
Samy Vellu, MP for Sungai Siput, was speaking to reporters after giving away Deepavali goodies to residents and donating RM3,000 to Mercy Malaysia for flood victims in the northern states.
The cost of the second phase of the highway project covering 169km from Kuantan to Cenering in Terengganu will be borne by the Federal Government.
The second phase would only start after land acquisition matters with the Terengganu government were settled.
Samy Vellu said Terengganu had not approved the project and he had learnt that the delay in approval was because Terengganu wanted the highway to be built based on the alignment of the old road.
This is not feasible as we will have to demolish about 400 houses along the old road to cater for the dual carriageway highway, he said.
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