Infokit: Penang undersea tunnel on hold until feasibility report done

SOURCE: The Vibes | Published on 13 Oct 2020 3:55PM

Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd yet to submit the final report to the state government.

GEORGE TOWN – The state government has yet to proceed with the cross channel undersea tunnel as proposed in the Penang Transport Master Plan following public criticism.

State Infrastructure and Transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said considerations will be made after the final feasibility study by project delivery partner Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC).

He added the CZC had submitted a draft of the feasibility report on September 6 last year to the state government after being examined by an independent consulting engineer.

“The draft report is currently being improved based on the comments received by various stakeholders and monitored by the state Government Technical Working Committee in a series of meetings since last November.

“The CZC is expected to finalise the feasibility report in the fourth quarter of 2020,” he said in a written reply at the state assembly sitting today.

Zairil (Tg Bungah-Pakatan Harapan) answered a written question from Yusni Mat Piah (Penaga-PAS) who wanted to know the details on the undersea tunnel project.

Zairil said if the state government decided to implement the undersea tunnel project based on the results of the feasibility study, the environmental impact study report (EIA) will be prepared for evaluation and approval by the Department of Environment.

Currently, he said, there is no need to submit an EIA application until the feasibility report is finalised by the CZC.

The RM46 billion undersea tunnel project is expected to connect Persiaran Gurneyon the island to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Perai.

Meanwhile, Zairil said the state government wanted a guarantee from the federal government that the ferry service would not be disrupted despite the proposed upgrading work.

He added the state government had sent a letter to the Transport Ministry on September 8 but yet to get a reply.

“The letter states the state government’s stance that any work to upgrade the ferry terminal and the operation of the new ferry be postponed until a new plan is presented to the state government.

“This is because, at this time, the state government is not aware of the ferry planning by the ministry,” he said.

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng (Air Putih-PH) asked if the federal government had given a guarantee that the ferry service would not be disrupted.

Last August, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong in the Dewan Rakyat said the ministry was ready to discuss the acquisition of Penang’s ferry services – now run by Rapid Ferry – with the state government. 

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