Undersea tunnel OK to be built 'on principle', Penang exco tells state assembly

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 24 — Construction for the controversial Penang undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland is feasible, the state legislative assembly was told today.

State executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari said a feasibility report was presented to the state government in April.

“On principle, the results of the feasibility report stated that the undersea tunnel can be implemented and this was accepted by the state government,” he replied Datuk Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (Barisan Nasional-Sungai Dua).

The infrastructure and transport committee chairman said a complete feasibility report has yet to be finalised.

He said it still pending a final review of the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) expansion masterplan by the Penang Port Commission (PPC) and the Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB).

“We have sent reminders to PPC and PPSB on this so that we could make a decision on the project but we are still waiting,” he said.

He said the state is expected to have another meeting with PPC next month so it can make a final decision on the tunnel project.

“It is expected to be the last meeting and we hope to have it within this year,” he added.

Muhamad Yusoff wanted to know why the feasibility report took almost six years to prepare and even then, is not complete.

Zairil explained that the lengthy preparation was due to the involvement of many stakeholders that included private companies and federal agencies.

He added that the final tunnel design depends on its integration with the final NBCT expansion plan, when asked when the project will be implemented.

He also said the state has not made any payment for the feasibility study as the report is incomplete at this point.

He said the land swap deal at a value of RM208.8 million was for the feasibility study and detailed design of the three paired roads project, which is part of the whole RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.