KUALA LUMPUR: The Gemas-Tumpat rail line, which was discontinued in 2014 due to floods, is expected to be repaired by mid-2021, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said the government had allocated RM874.7mil to upgrade track infrastructure and trains at the east coast sector.
From the figure, RM778mil will be used for railway infrastructure rehabilitation projects and RM96.7mil for station rehabilitation program and other railway infrastructure that is affected by major floods in the east coast, said Dr Wee.
“The entire repair work for track infrastructure in the east coast is expected to be completed by mid-2021, ” he added.
Dr Wee said this in response to Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas), who asked when the train service from Tumpat, Kelantan to Kuala Lumpur would resume.
“The floods that struck the east coast on Dec 22,2014, caused extensive damage to the track infrastructure, signage equipment as well as track maintenance machinery which was submerged in water.”
Dr Wee also said the particular track had landslides, eroded runways and railway bridges which had been submerged by floodwaters.
“Besides that, there was also severe damage to office buildings, stations and quarters especially in Manik Urai, Dabong, Kemubu, Kuala Krai and Chegar Perah," he said.
Dr Wee also said that legal action can be taken against contractors over delays in completing repair works for trains.
“There are three contractors, some are more competent and some are as late as 25%. We have already taken action.
“If they are late, we will summon them and we will ask them to pay, ” he said in Parliament during Ministerial Question Time on Tuesday (Aug 11).
Dr Wee also said there were several challenges in conducting repair works on the Gemas-Tumpat train system.
Among the challenges raised by Dr Wee was that there were still ongoing train services for school students on the particular train track.
“From Tumpat to Kuala Lipis, there still isn’t non-economical train service. We still provide trains to students going to schools.
“That is the challenge, when it is being used, repairs need to be conducted on the live line and work takes four hours," he said.
Dr Wee also gave a breakdown of the repair works for the Gemas-Tumpat line, where the track rehabilitation from Gemas to Mentakab was undertaken by Hikmat Asia Sdn Bhd, costing RM216.9mil, where project completion up till July this year had reached 86.44%.
The Mentakab to Gua Musang track rehabilitation, said Dr Wee, was undertaken by Fajarbaru Builder Sdn Bhd with the cost of RM259.7mil.
“Project progress as of July 2020 is 97.08%," he said.
The Gua Musang to Tumpat track rehabilitation, said Dr Wee, was taken by Emrail Sdn Bhd with the cost of RM301.4mil, where it recorded a progress of 75% completion as of July this year.
“The government is ready to consider the reopening of the express train from Kuala Lumpur to Tumpat after repair and upgrading projects are completed," he said.
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