PENANG: The public should be able to commute halfway up Penang Hill using the funicular railway system within a week or two although the middle to upper stations would be off limits for three months.
The state executive council on Wednesday directed the Public Works Department (JKR) to look into resuming railway operations between the lower and middle stations, said State Culture, Arts, Tourism and Women Development committee chairman Datuk Kee Phaik Cheen.
“I urge tour agents to organise educational nature trails or other creative activities to encourage visitors to hike up the hill,” she said yesterday.
Describing as unfortunate Monday’s incident where a 2km-long cable slid downhill in a whiplash motion when a clamp gave way during upgrading works, Kee said the top priority was to ensure the safety of the tourists, the public and the residents of Penang Hill.
She said JKR must give due consideration to the state exco’s recommendations, adding that the people could hike up the hill from the middle station to the summit.
“We know Penang Hill is a major tourist attraction as we have one million visitors going up the hill every year,” she said.