I think many property investors are looking at any High Speed Rail (HSR) news positively. Yes, it will take another 10 years but for those seriously thinking about investing, 10 year should not be when we start to buy. There’s another confirmation on the seriousness of the High Speed Rail KL – SG was reported in nst.com.my today. MYHSR Corp Sdn Bhd said it will be laying out plans to the government to freeze all land transactions along the HSR corridor. The reason is simple, this will ensure the processor acquisition is faster and costs may be better contained as well. I think this comes with experience with the MRT project where some delays happened due to land acquisitions and even disputes during the tunnelling with landowners.
The total length of the HSR is 350km but as per MyHSR Corp chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal, there would be minimal displacement of families and businesses for the construction. 335km of the HSR will be within Malaysia and Johor would’ve the longest route, between 150-160km. Three transit stations would be in Johor; Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri. The freeze is for transactions for a corridor that is 500m wide along the HSR route. Nur shared, “This is where we will file with the local authorities or the state governments to freeze transactions of land identified for HSR use. This will enable us to do soil investigation, survey the land and determine the final alignment within that 500m corridor. Once that is determined, we will take the next step to acquire the land. But we will acquire a narrower corridor of about 50m. So, much of the land will be released.”
There were no mention about the budget allocated for the acquisition. Bigger plots would be required for stations, depots and maintenance facilities. Where tunnelling would happen, there would be some agreements with the landowner along the lines of what MRT Corp has done for the MRT project. As for the land owners along the route, it may be more beneficial for joint -ventures with some developers with some good integrated project ideas. Selling the land may be the easiest way out but ensuring reinvestment of the money gained would be harder. Everyone should note however that the actual bilateral agreement would only designed end of 2016. In other words, more details would continue to come and it’s best to keep following.
written on 2 Aug 2016
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