Penang LRT project on track despite minor amendment, says MRT Corp CEO

GEORGE TOWN: The construction of Mutiara Line, Penang's first light rail transit (LRT) project, will be according to schedule despite a minor amendment to the original plan.

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Corp chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim said everything would be carried out on time, adding that there is no need for the resubmission of the environmental impact assessment (EIA).

"The slight amendment to the track is meant to accommodate the line extended to Penang Sentral on the mainland from Penang island via an elevated track above the sea.

"Once we have updated the data on the LRT alignment, we will need to engage all the relevant agencies through workshops.

"The amended alignment, once finalised, will then be provided as an addendum meant for the necessary approval.

"All these will be done in the next three months. The main component of the alignment is still intact," he said after giving Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin a briefing on the RM10bil project during the North Zone Madani Rakyat programme at the Sungai Nibong Pesta site in Penang.

It was earlier reported that the Penang government had planned to hold a workshop with stakeholders to finalise the Penang LRT Mutiara Line project following minor amendments to the original plan.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow was quoted as saying that the workshop was expected to be held within a week or two so that further work involving the transformative infrastructure project could be carried out.

In the latest report released by MRT Corp, the alignment will begin from Penang Sentral on Penang mainland to the proposed first station on Penang island - Macallum.

From Macallum, it will pass through Komtar, Jalan Gurdwara, Solok Sungai Pinang, Sungai Pinang, Jelutong Timur, all the way to Silicon Island.

Two proposed stations - Bandar Sri Pinang and Sky Cab - along Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, which were seen in the original plan, have since been taken out of the picture.

On March 29, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that the Federal Government officially took over the Penang LRT Mutiara Line project from the state government, with MRT Corporation appointed as the developer and asset owner.

The procurement of the project is divided into three main components, which are civil construction works for Segment 1 which is the alignment of Silicon Island to Komtar; works for civil construction for Segment 2 which is the line from Komtar to Penang Sentral and a “turnkey contract" for system and carriage (coach) works.

Also present at the briefing were Batu Uban assemblyman A. Kumaresan and Kebun Bunga assemblyman Lee Boon Heng

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