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Penang LRT gets conditional green light

The 29.9-kilometre Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) has received conditional approval, in a move that is expected to reduce traffic congestion,spur the construction industry and bring in another wave of development into the state of Penang.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke in a statement said that after a detailed study of the application by Penang Economic Planning Unit (BPEN), the approval was given on 16 July 2019, with 30 conditions for the state to comply, The Star reports.

The conditions include a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) approval, including traffic, social and heritage assessments.

The state has to exhibit documents on the project in public places and online for three months, and the final go-ahead will only be decided after the public responses are evaluated, said Loke.  “I welcome public participation from the people, NGOs and all stakeholders in this public review,” he added.

The RM8.4 billion LRT, together with a monorail, cable cars and water taxis, is part of the state government’s RM46 billion Penang Trans­port Master Plan (PTMP).

This LRT will begin at Komtar in the northeast corner of the island and head south through Jelutong, Gelugor, Bayan Lepas and Penang Interna­tional Airport, ending at the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) development. It is expected to provide a fast route to the airport and will traverse densely populated residential, commercial and industrial areas. Phase 1 will be 23.5 kilometres long with 20 stations, while phase 2 will be 6.4 kilometres long with seven stations.

The project will be financed through the sale of three reclaimed islands to be created by the Penang government through its project delivery partner, SRS Consortium.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the infrastructure work involved would require specialist technology and a strong emphasis on safety as it involved construction close to developed areas, on hill slopes and at sea. — Construction+ Online

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