KUALA TERENGGANU: The cost of building the East Coast Highway has gone up by RM340mil to RM2.1bil, said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
He said the 190km road, connecting Kuantan to Kampung Gemuruh near here, would only be ready in the middle of 2009, a year later than the original schedule.
The drawing up of new road alignments in several stretches caused the delay, he said.
“We have to pay more to the contractors since everything has become more expensive, including the price of bitumen which has gone up by about 30%,” he told newsmen after opening the state MIC convention here yesterday.
“We have to conduct land surveys and soil tests again when the road alignment was changed following the request of the state government,” he said.
It was reported that the state government wanted the alignment to run closer to the coast in Kemaman and Dungun. This resulted in road alignment adjustments to construct interchanges in Chukai, Kijal, Kerteh, Paka and Dungun.
Samy Vellu said tender documents for the project’s 12 packages were expected to be ready by early 2007 and land acquisitions would be completed by mid-2007.
Samy Vellu said the 5.9km stretch from Telemong to Bukit Petiti near here under package 11 was tendered out last month and should be ready by November 2007.
The 3.3km Bukit Peteti to Kampung Gemuruh stretch under package 12 was expected to be completed in October 2005, he said.
Packages three to nine are at the design stage, packages 1A, 1B and two at the tender evaluation stage while the design for package 1C is completed.
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