Ayer Itam residents want PIL 1 project scrapped


GEORGE TOWN: Residents in Ayer Itam have initiated a petition for the state government to cancel the 19.5km Pan-Island Link (PIL) 1 project.

Raising concern over the environment and cost, former Penang Island City councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui said the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) must be reviewed.

“In 2002 before Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow was even an assemblyman, he had objected to the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project proposed by then chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon but he is now supporting the same project, which has been renamed PIL.

“We are concerned about the project’s impact on the environment and that it might trigger more soil erosion during construction,” he said when briefing about 20 residents at the Treasure Ville community hall in Ayer Itam yesterday.

At the session, those who attended were given forms to fill for a petition to cancel the project.

On the PTMP, Dr Lim, who is a Penang Forum steering committee member, said the group was not against its implementation but they want it to be reviewed by an internationally recognised independent body.

“We also proposed that trams and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system be used instead of an elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT).

“The tram and BRT, which incurs a much lower annual operation and maintenance cost, is cheaper to build by more than half of the LRT’s cost.

“Both the LRT and tram will have the same 10 million annual ridership, which will eventually save the state money,” he said.

Addressing the lack of space in the city for tram and BRT lanes, Dr Lim said it would be a sacrifice that Penangites have to make by giving priority to pedestrians and those opting to take public transport.

Also present was former councillor Khoo Salma Nasution.

Pan Island Link , PIL 1 project