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Rise in tourism-related activities in Tok Bali after relaunch of ECRL

Last Update: 27/07/2019

By Habsah Ismail

PASIR PUTEH, July 26 (Bernama) -- There has been a hive of tourism-related activities in Tok Bali here soon after the government relaunched the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project which was put on hold since July last year.

Dotting its white sandy beaches are several structures at different stages of construction, believed to be hotels and homestay lodgings.

Razali Ibrahim, 50, from Kampung Tok Tok Kambing, who operates a guesthouse said those in the tourism industry were looking forward to the ECRL station being built in the area as it would inadvertently bring in more visitors from outside Kelantan.

He added those in the hospitality industry, upon realising the potential of the new rail link, were building more hotels to accommodate tourist arrivals later.

“Visitors are likely to choose accommodation close to the ECRL station and which can be easily reached by using other public transports too,” Razali told Bernama here today.

Besides the tourism sector, the fishing industry in the area would also stand to gain from the project, said fishmonger Mohd Syaffiq Akmal Mohd Azmi, 23, who runs a stall at the old market in Tok Bali.

“Tok Bali is a fishing town as its shores are where fishermen bring their daily catch. Moreover, it is closely linked with the shipping industry and we can see that now, with many shops and houses being built prices are booming, perhaps since it is still in the early stages.

“Once this (ECRL) project is completed, fishing industry players can penetrate the market in Kuala Lumpur and could use the ECRL cargo facilities, while those in Kuala Lumpur could also come directly to Tok Bali,” he said.

For Che Asiah Mamat, 52, a small and medium entrepreneur who had long dreamt of selling her chips and crackers to the central and southern regions of the country without using the service of middlemen, the rail link would be a good way of transporting her products.

“My children are prepared to sell my products online and I am already working on improving the packaging to make them more attractive for customers in Kuala Lumpur to enjoy fresh stocks of chips and crackers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rosiah Mohamad, 40, and her mother Che Minah Che Muda, 53, who sell items such as dried fish, fish sauce, salted eggs, homemade palm sugar and garlic pickles, have plans to market their products in Kuala Lumpur using the ECRL.

“We have been so far transporting our products by bus and through the postal services when there are orders from our customers in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, but when the ECRL is ready, we have been informed that we can send our products through its cargo train,” she said.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook was reported to have said the ECRL would reduce the travel time from Kota Bharu, Kelantan to Putrajaya to just four hours with the train travelling at a speed of 160 km/h  covering 20 stations.

The stations comprise 14 passenger stations, five passenger/cargo stations and another one only for cargo.

The announcement to revive the ECRL project was made in April and it was officially relaunched last Thursday (July 25).



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