CIQ complex sees 18-month delay


  • Nation
  • Monday, 14 Aug 2006

nelson@thestar.com.my 

JOHOR BARU: The cancellation of the scenic bridge project is taking a heavy toll on the new integrated Customs, Immigrationand Quarantine (CIQ) complex, which is expected to be delayed — by as long as 18 months. 

It is learnt that the contractor for the complex has written to the Works Ministry asking for more time. 

The original deadline for completing the project is next month, when more than a dozengovernment agencies are to begin trial runs at the complex. 

MORE TIME NEEDED: The CIQ complex, originally scheduled to be completed next month, may now be delayed by as long as 18 months because of the bridge cancellation. The Johor Baru Sentral is only about 50% completed.

“The situation has been caused by the sudden termination of the bridge contract in April as well as the Government's delay in decidingon the new RM250mil permanent flyover linking the Causeway and CIQ complex,” said asource familiar with the project. 

“Cashflow is also hampering work on the project.” 

It is understood that Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd submitted an 18-month extension of time(EOT) request recently to the ministry's director-general, Datuk Dr Wahid Omar. 

The integrated RM1.3bil CIQ complex is part of the RM2.4bil Gerbang Selatan Bersepaduproject, which included the RM1.1bil scenic bridge. 

It comprises a new fourstorey CIQ block, the Johor Baru Sentral (JBS), which is a bus terminal cum business centre, andother infrastructures. The CIQ building – expected to house the offices of 16 government agencies – and JBS will be linked by a sky bridge. 

“The CIQ building is almost completed. What remains to be done are mainly putting together the electrical wiring and somefinishing touches,” the source said. 

However, he added, JBS was only 50% completed. 

The source said subcontractors had insisted on payment before carrying out any job, especially as the Government had yet to make a decision on the compensation forscrapping the bridge project. 

The source said the Government will have to decide whether to grant an EOT or subjectthe contractor to liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD) for failing to complete the project on time. 

“This will require the company to pay compensation, which is likely to run into substantial amounts each month,” he said. 

He added that if an extension was granted, the Government might have to fork out more asthe contractor could submit higher claims involving items such as the rising cost of raw materials, particularly steel. 

In April, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had informed Parliament that theCIQ complex would be completed on schedule. 

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