I love the fact that Penang has a huge Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) worth RM27 billion. I hate the fact that every reclamation must be met with huge objections from everyone who’s affected directly, not affected directly and hope to be affected somehow indirectly. I love the fact that Penang has adopted the Project Delivery Partner way which I think is a very good model made popular by MRT 1. Well, as per reported in The Edge Property, SRS consortium has already proposed for the reclamation of two plots of lands in the southern coast of Penang island to fund the PTMP. These two man-made islands, located near Permatang Damar Laut, will be known as the South Reclamation Scheme (SRS) spanning 930ha and 445ha. Yes, in acres, it is 3,398 acres.
This is not all, a third plot of 323ha land beside the two man-made islands have also been identified for future demand. According to SRS Consortium, an internationally reputed water environment expert called Danish Hydraulic Institute has already confirmed that the identified coast was suitable for reclamation because the area is a natural bay with weak tidal currents, shallow water and natural shelter from the effects of tsunami. It has limited environmental sensitivity, with no seagrass or coral reefs. Of course, one affected party would be the fishermen and SRS said they will engage them.
SRS Consortium’s project manager Szeto Wai Loong said that the reclamation would see a new smart green city called SRS Smart City and it due to its size, it will be pushing Penang’s economic engine for the next 50 years. Since this new city’s location is near to Bayan Lepas, it would allow for rooms for expansion to the FTZ’s 471 SMEs and 117 multinational companies to expand. Besides housing, there will also be a 5km beach, a 25km coastal park, a 30km waterfront and 283ha of green areas. These would be served by an efficient rail transit system serving the new city.
SRS Consortium is a company formed by public-listed Gamuda Bhd and two local property firms – Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd. Some of the components for the PTMP were trams, monorail, light rail transit lines, e-bus, bus rapid transit, pan-island expressway, a catamaran system and a RM100mil highway interchange upgrading project. Before everyone said, YES, well, Penang Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the project was still “a work in progress”. He said that there were no approval given thus far and the submission of a detailed environmental impact assessment would only be done by June 2016.
As long as the project starts, I do think Penang’s growth would continue for many more years to come. Whether it’s 50 years or not matter little. Just get this started, somehow. Please ensure a new airport is built to replace the current one which would be reaching full capacity in just years. The state government needs to know that no companies would be expanding if they know that the international airport right next to them is FULL…. Happy loving Penang!
written on 1 Dec 2015
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