SEREMBAN: The 39km Seremban-Port Dickson rail line – a vital component of the sprawling Malaysian Vision Valley (MVV) project – will be revived under a private-public partnership initiative.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who disclosed this, said the Federal Government was in no position to revive the project by itself.
“If we get the private sector involved, we can speed it up,” he said.
Work to rehabilitate the line – the second oldest in the country – was supposed to have started this year.
The Seremban-PD line was closed in July 2008 following the derailment of a freight train in Port Dickson to Ipoh.
Under the rehabilitation plan, the authorities had also planned to reintroduce a passenger service which was stopped in the 1970s.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said his administration was agreeable to the project being carried out under a public-private partnership initiative.
“Since we need to start the project soonest, the best way is to work with the private sector.
“We already have interested multinational companies knocking on the door,” he said, adding that the line was crucial to spur growth in the 108,000ha project.
Straddling the districts of Seremban, Nilai and Port Dickson, the MVV will be developed over a 30-year-period at a gross value of RM640bil. Touted by some as a new economic corridor altogether, the MVV will be divided into five clusters, including residential, business, manufacturing and education-cum-sports clusters.
Liow also said the Komuter train frequency within the Greater Kuala Lumpur area and Seremban during peak hours would be reduced to 7.5 minutes in three years from the present 15 minutes.
This would be possible after a signalling system and rail upgrade costing RM1.4bil was completed.
“Our morning train ridership stands at 500,000 and we hope to increase this by another 10%.
“We must have better connectivity if we want more people to leave their cars home and get to work by train,” he said after presenting certificates to 68 employees of CKM Landas MRO Sdn Bhd to conduct maintenance on commuter trains.
Asked to comment on a statement by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim that child car seats should be made compulsory, Liow said this could only be done when all cars came fitted with child seat locks.
“We have told car makers that every vehicle manufactured or imported from this year must come with that gadget so owners will be able to buy child seats and secure them nicely in their vehicles,” he said.
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