Pat Lah said the construction of the 2nd.Penang Bridge will be delayed following problems getting the allocated land, the best design and increasing building costs.The building of the 24km bridge linking Batu Kawan in Seberang Perai south and Batu Maung on the island has been receiving criticisms from various parties for its delay.
"Several matters have delayed its construction. Firstly, in getting the land that had been allocated for building the bridge. "Secondly, there is a need to ensure that the given design is the most suitable and also the issue of cost where there may be changes due to increased prices," he told reporters.
The original agreement between UEM Group Bhd and its consortium partner China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been extended for nine months to provide more negotiation time for them to reach an agreement that will be same with the original deal.UEM had given the guarantee that the construction of the 2nd Penang Bridge will be smooth and it will be completed as scheduled in 2011.
On another note,gomen has put a stop on YTL’s RM10 billion bullet train project to Singapore. The Economic Planning Unit has decided that the project is not viable nor is it critical for the country. Critics say that Malaysia does not need another expensive infrastructure project and note that it will impact on the KLIA’s position as a hub, with many Malaysians travelling to Changi to take advantage of better connectivity.
The gomen believes,that the project will not be financially viable and that the gomen funds will be needed to subsidise the project or even bail out the project if it failed. Speculation was rife that the government may have to guarantee a subsidy of RM1 billion a year for a period of time. There was also the fear from the Johore gomen that a bullet train from KL to Singapore could have an adverse impact on Iskandar Malaysia project.
As for the bullet train project, is the country ready for such project and how many Malaysians are gonna benefit from it? Just like the Monsoon Cup,the ordinary rakyat can just only watch, while the rich and famous makes the headlines.
Issues like land acquisition,structural design and building cost has plagued the bridge construction process. The longer it takes to complete,the costlier it will be. Maybe its another of BN's political ploy to use it to win votes for the next GE.
The gomen is said to re-examining several other projects under the 9M Plan, is it due to financial constrains or just because it couldnt cope with the political setback they suffered in the 12th GE......