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Over 80% of Penang households back transport master plan: survey

Over 80% of Penang households back transport master plan: survey

Published by theVibes • 7/4/2023

GEORGE TOWN – A survey conducted by the Penang government has revealed that more than 80% of households polled are in support of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) despite criticism by civil society groups.


A state government source said the non-governmental organisations, through the Penang Forum, might mean well and have produced an alternative concept to the PTMP, but the people opted to support the state’s plan to address the worsening traffic congestion.


There is a realisation that such projects create jobs and steps were also taken to allay fears about the environmental degradation, he added.


Penang’s congestion is expected to be one of the main issues in the coming state election that is expected to be held later this year.


The source said the survey was conducted recently ahead of the rolling out of PTMP projects.


The most visible roll-out is the construction of the Air Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway which has residents in the Island Glades neighbourhood concerned about possible landslides and noise pollution.


All ongoing earth works and rock blasting have received approval from the Environment Department and other relevant authorities.


The source said civil society groups are welcome to engage the state government but they should understand that such projects are crucial to alleviate congestion.


The state government has established Penang Infrastructure Corp, a special purpose vehicle to ensure smooth implementation of PTMP and the Penang South Islands, a mega reclamation project where up to 4,500 acres would be reclaimed to establish three man-made islands off Permatang Damar Laut here.


Island A is 2,300 acres in size, Island B at 1,400 acres and Island C at 800 acres.


The islands are supposed to underwrite the costs for the PTMP, which mainly consist of a light rail system, five highways and separately, a cross channel undersea tunnel is being mooted between Gurney Drive and Bagan Ajam.


Meanwhile, Penggerak Komuniti Muda Pulau Pinang executive director Joshua Woo, who is also a state DAP member, released a social media presentation of seven state achievements in Penang since 2018.


He said that Penang built the highest elevated road in the country from Paya Terubong to Bukit Jambul. The state government, he added, has also transformed the Esplanade seawall into a new recreational area, completed the Mak Mandin flood mitigation project and grown the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, in addition to providing free shuttle bus rides.


Woo also noted that Penang had set up the Butterworth Digital Library and given Penang Future scholarships to 400 students. – The Vibes, April 7, 2023

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