Guan Eng under fire for neglecting environmental concerns despite talk

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Govern-ment continues to come under fire for its proposed RM6.3bil undersea tunnel and road projects.

Penang Wanita MCA chief Tan Cheng Liang said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, despite his talk about being environmental-friendly in his policies, had instead planned an undersea tunnel which she claimed would affect marine life and the livelihood of fishermen.

She said Lim was also neglecting concerns voiced by non-governmental organisations and experts about the site of the tunnel, which would cut through the route of vessels that use Penang Port.

Tan accused the DAP of practising double standards as the party had strongly opposed the Penang Outer Ring Road but the state government which it leads had now embarked on mega projects.

The projects consist of a 6.5km Gurney Drive-Bagan Ajam undersea tunnel, a 4.2km Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass, a 4.6km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Bandar Baru Air Itam bypass and a 12km road connecting Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang.

On Lim’s announcement that toll would be collected for the tunnel, Tan said this was another double standard as Pakatan Rakyat was against toll collection.

Penang municipal councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui said the state government should beef up its enforcement on illegal parking instead of blaming the Federal Government for most of the public transportation and traffic problems.

Dr Lim said roads which had been widened sometimes ended up having one of its lanes used for illegal parking.

“It’s also crucial to free up lanes for buses and increase parking charges during peak hours.

“Fees can also be applied on vehicles entering town during peak hours,” he said.

At a press conference in Komtar, Guan Eng said the transport master plan incorporated the idea of the undersea tunnel for 2025 to 2030.

“They actually see the need for the tunnel.

“It is only a question of sooner or later,” he said.

Guan Eng said Pakatan was prepared to lose votes for proceeding with the projects to ease traffic congestion rather than being a “do nothing government”.


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