Monday, March 3, 2014

Guan Eng Has Urged To Uphold CAT Principles over Penang Undersea Tunnel Project

The Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) has called for the Pakatan Rakyat state government to uphold its Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) principles by disclosing full details of the proposed Penang undersea tunnel project.

Chant urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration to publish details in the media for all to see.

“We ask for CAT at the highest level of the state government, the Chief Minister and the awarded company for this project,” the group said in a statement here today.

“We demand full disclosure of the tunnel feasibility study, which costs about RM300 million and equates to 5.5-acres of state land belonging to the people of Penang.”

The group also want the state government to reveal details of a proposed “City of Dreams” project rumoured to be part of the tunnel project.

“The project site is rumoured to be near the landed residential area in Gurney Drive, on a piece of land that will be or has already been surrendered to the state government.”

Chant said residents concerned on whether their quiet residential streets would be used as access once the project started had approached the group seeking assistance and clarification.

“When we visited the sales booth, the sales personnel were unable to tell us who was the developer, where and when this project is scheduled to start,” added Chant.

The undersea 6.5km tunnel linking Gurney Drive on Penang island to Bagan Ajam on the mainland is part of a mega infrastructure project planned by Lim’s government.

The mega project includes a 4.2km bypass road linking Lim Chong Eu Expressway and Gurney Drive; a 4.6km bypass linking Air Itam and Lim Chong Eu Expressway; and a 12km Tanjung Bunga-Teluk Bahang road.

The tunnel is scheduled to be ready in 2025; the Tanjung Bunga–Teluk Bahang stretch is to be completed by 2018; the Lim Chong Eu Expressway and Gurney Drive by-pass link by 2022 and Air Itam–Lim Chong Eu Expressway by-pass link by 2019.

The project, estimated to cost RM6.3 billion, has been awarded to Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd.

The consortium’s main shareholders are Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd and China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC) with a joint 70% equity share; Beijing Urban Construction Group with 10% equity; Sri Tinggi Sdn Bhd 10% equity; and Juteras Sdn Bhd 10% equity.

CRCC will undertake 70% of construction works while BUCG will construct 30% of the whole project.

Tunnel still needed, says Lim
Yesterday Lim was reported to have said that the tunnel was still needed despite the opening of the Penang second bridge – the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge on March 1.

Lim claimed the tunnel would be a catalyst for future development in northern Seberang Perai, a statement concurred by Chant.

Chant suggested that a rail link be incorporated with the undersea tunnel so that mainland residents do not miss out on the future growth.

Following public demand, Chant plans to commission an independent study on the tunnel project, which would be a costly affair. They are looking into collecting a minimum RM1 per person from Penangites for funding of the study.

The group has appointed Ghazi & Lim, a prominent law firm in Southeast Asia to act as stake holder for the public funds collected.

No comments: