13 Jan We’re not giving up on PTMP: Chow
Published by The Vibes • 13/01/2022 • 06:03 pm
GEORGE TOWN – Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has made it clear that the Pakatan Harapan-led state government will not give up on the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) because it is a promise made to those who voted for them.
During the opening ceremony of the Bukit Kukus highway today, he reminded attendees that after PH took over Penang 14 years ago, the three issues it wanted to solve were the 3Cs, namely, cleanliness, crime and congestion.
“This plan has existed for a long time, since the ‘80s, but the project was not implemented by the then government.
“Maybe it failed to get allocation from the federal government or the relevant ministerial departments.
“But from the issues we have detected, that is the 3Cs and seeing that there is a lot of high-density development in the works, the number of people staying here is expected to increase rapidly.
“On the journey to tackle this issue, the PTMP was born,” he said during his speech.
Chow explained that there are easier routes to get the plan running that involve approval from the federal government or if it is absorbed by the relevant ministries.
However, if it could have been done, he said the plan would have unfolded in the 1990s.
Unfortunately, he believes these projects that were requested were not given priority by the federal government, prompting the state government to look into alternative ways to get it done.
“We did not give up, although it took many years of planning and getting the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – still there are constraints that have risen against the project. This tests the determination of the state to fulfil what we have promised.”
“This Bukit Kukus paired road project is one of the projects funded by the local government,” he said.
He hopes the PTMP, which was started by the PH government, will be seen to completion.
“There is no turning back because it is for the future development of Penang.”
While the whole project may not be completed within his term, Chow wants it to be continued as long as PH is in control and given the mandate by Penangites.
“There are still two portions of the paired road that have yet to be completed, one linking it to Lebuhraya Thean Teik by Geo Valley Sdn Bhd, and the other by PLB Land Sdn Bhd.”
Chow said the road portion by Geo Valley is still pending the decision of the Appeals Board, but once it is resolved, it is expected to be completed by 2025.
The RM6.2 billion PTMP comprises three highways – the Tg Bungah-Teluk Bahang route, Gurney Drive-Tun Lim Chong Eu Expressway, and Air Itam Farlim-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway – as well as a 7.2km undersea tunnel.
This time last year, more than 40 heavy construction machinery entered the state to start work on the first project in the RM46 billion PTMP.
It had kick-started work on the second package of the Air Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway paired highway. – The Vibes, January 13, 2022