By Kenny Teng Khoon Hock
GEORGE TOWN, Nov 14 -- The proposed light rail transit (LRT), Pan Island Link (PIL) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects under Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) that are expected to proceed next year have received positive and encouraging feedback from Penangites.
When met by Bernama here recently, some of them opined that the proposed projects would, among others, improve the locals’ quality of life.
Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah said Penang needs a proper and affordable public transportation system to relieve traffic congestion, especially during school holidays and extended weekends.
“Previously, many had opposed the building of Penang bridge, but now you can see people are relying on the bridge for their daily life activities. I believe LRT and highways will be the way forward for Penang,” he said.
He added that the government should make public transports more affordable and accessible for all especially the poor and rural residents.
At the same time, Murugiah said it was important to ensure that any development undertakings should not neglect environmental issues and people affected from the projects should get equal compensation.
Last month, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that LRT, PIL and PSR under the PTMP would be tendered out for interested consortium to take part by the second half of next year.
A surveyor Michael Geh who lauded the announcement, said Penang deserves a major infrastructure project as the state has been sidelined from any big projects for the past 11 years.
"The people of Penang now get what they deserve which is infrastructure projects that will boost the state's economy as well as create a better living condition for the people," he said.
Meanwhile, a former fisherman from Teluk Kumbar who is now working in a factory in Bayan Lepas, Mohd Nasarudin Sultan said the projects would help ease traffic congestion especially in the factories areas.
He said many factory workers in Bayan Lepas had to brace themselves for up to three hours in congestion daily to reach their workplaces.
“The congestion affect the productivity of factory workers along with our lifestyle as we do not have enough time for other things… so I think the project is the best solution to resolve the problem,” he said.
He also suggested for the government to expedite the project and not to wait until the middle of next year to call for tender.
The PTMP project is an initiative of the state government, estimated to cost RM46 billion, encompassing an undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland, highways, light rail transit (LRT), monorail services and a comprehensive bus network on the island and the mainland.