Hospital expansion sparks worry about tree felling


Unknown fate: Palm trees lining Peel Avenue in George Town. — ASRI ABDUL GHANI/The Star

Unknown fate: Palm trees lining Peel Avenue in George Town. — ASRI ABDUL GHANI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: A non-governmental organisation is worried that the palm trees along Peel Avenue could be felled to make way for a private hospital expansion project.

Penang Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) adviser Yan Lee said he hoped the developer could provide them with details on the ‘fate’ of the trees.

He said he learnt that a basement would be built to connect the existing hospital to its new proposed extension building on Peel Avenue.

“The palm trees are planted along Peel Avenue, which is a protocol road in Penang.

“The palm tree is also a symbol of Penang, which appears in our state flag.

“If what we heard is true, I don’t think the palm trees will survive with all the works carried out,” he said at a press conference in Lorong Pykett yesterday.

Yan Lee said under the country’s new administration, he believed the matter could be resolved between the developer, local council and the Health Ministry.

“I understand that development must go on. There must be communication, and I am sure that we can find a solution to ensure that the palm trees can remain there,” he said.