Explain why the delay in studies on third bridge – MIC demands Penang government

 |Mar 31, 2017
Penang MIC deputy chairman M. Nyanasegaran.

MIC today took the DAP-led Penang government to task over the delay to complete the feasibility and detailed design studies for the proposed third bridge linking Gurney Drive on the island and Bagan Ajam on the mainland.

Penang MIC deputy chairman M. Nyanasegaran said the DAP government owed the people of Penang an explanation over the frequent changes in the timeline to complete the study and the whole project as well.

He reminded the DAP government that it had allocated an exorbitant RM305 million for the study that was scheduled to start in 2013 and be ready by early this year.

However, he said the state government had prolonged the completion of the study and yet to submit all relevant documents on the feasibility and detailed design studies to Ministry of Public Works until today.

“This is a public fund. The DAP government cannot go on with its flip-flops to keep changing the timeline to complete the studies and project.

“The CAT government must show that it was competent, accountable and transparent.

“But for the moment, it seems the DAP government was no longer the CAT it lauded to be,” slammed Nyanasegaran in a text message to Malaysia Outlook.

In May last year, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng challenged the federal government to grant approval to the state government’s proposal to build a third sea bridge linking the island and mainland.

The bridge was mooted as an alternative to the previously proposed undersea tunnel.

The tunnel project was to co-exist with three by-pass highway projects, costing RM6.34 billion in total.

The state government has set aside RM305 million for the feasibility and detailed design studies for tunnel project, which has now changed to a third bridge.

Out of RM305 million, RM135 million has been paid.

Some RM2.83 billion worth of state land swapped for the project was pre-sold by the undersea tunnel concession company to a listed company in signing ceremony attended by Guan Eng on January 15 last year.

Recently the state executive councillor in charge of infrastructure, Lim Hock Seng said the first phase of the project was to start only in mid-2018.

“The DAP government cannot go on doing things as it likes. Why postpone the timeline so many times?

“Using RM305 million for feasibility and detailed design studies is not a small matter,” reminded Nyanasegaran.

He said the RM305 million could have been used to build thousands of low cost (LC) and low-medium cost (LMC) affordable homes for the lower income group in Penang.

“Many in Penang can’t afford to buy homes and have started to move out from the state.

“But the state government is more keen in mega projects,” blasted Nyanasegaran.

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.