As everyone has read and talked and even speculated about all the potential happenings in the Penang Transport Master Plan, the Gamuda-led SRS consortium finally said something. Earlier article here: Penang: PTMP, new airport, catalyst till 2050 Gamuda group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling said that the reclamation plan is still very far away. In fact the proposal for the reclaimed land as an asset for the state to raise funds for the timely delivery of the project may or may not happen. It said that the next thing is to get the public consensus first via a public display. SRS consortium is now starting a comprehensive impact studies on the society, environment and cost and this should be completed in the next 6 months. Once these are ready, it would be displayed for the public’s feedback.
After all these are done that the payment structure would be discussed. In other words, if risks outweighs the benefits and public is against it, perhaps the plan may be changed. “It will all depend on public support,” Gamuda group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling told the press after its AGM and EGM yesterday. Lin said that the company understood the perception of way too many reclamation and thus the company would practise great transparency in its studies and public engagement. Two reclaimed plots known as South Reclamation Scheme would include areas spanning 930ha and 445ha. There is a third plot of 323ha identified as well but is for future demand for land activities.
I like Lin’s brief explanation on the concept. “You will only need to expand on the light rail transit Pan-Island Expressway linking Bayan Lepas to Tanjung Bungah. This is supposed to take development away from the saturated Georgetown and make development on the island more sustainable, at least, in the next 50 years.”
I believe it’s time Penang has the next catalyst after the important second bridge and UNESCO Heritage city status. Besides with the jam getting worse, there’s not a lot of time to waste. The current Penang international airport is also nearing its maximum capacity and unfortunately, building an airport from scratch CANNOT take just 2-3 years when the land for it to be built has yet to even be reclaimed. I hope the public would weigh the benefits versus the impact to the environment carefully. I would rate some minor impacts as avery small ‘investment’ so that Penang can grow for the next 50 years. Happy investing.
written on 8 Dec 2015
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