Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Two monorail test tracks for Seberang Perai

Two monorail test tracks for Seberang Perai
Himanshu Bhatt

GEORGE TOWN (Nov 29, 2009): Two monorail test tracks will be set up on mainland Seberang Perai to help rejuvenate the local economy while a state-wide monorail system is implemented.

Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P. Ramasamy today said the tracks, each one kilometre long, would be set up by two companies in Batu Kawan or Nibong Tebal, and would serve as "exhibitions" to the public of how a monorail could benefit them.

"The test tracks will help us to see the feasibility of the monorail for the state," he said.

He said the tracks would be built and operated on state land that have yet to be identified at no cost and obligation to the state government.

Declining to name the companies, Ramasamy said neither of them would be given preference when the tender for the overall monorail system is called at a later stage.

"Both companies are local and had approached us to lay out these test tracks to show the public," he said.

"The companies should take about a year to set up and operate the tracks," he said.

He said details of the companies and the agreement made by the state would be revealed soon.

Ramasamy, who is also Batu Kawan MP, said the construction of the tracks would benefit local contractors and other relevant businesses.

Penang has been considering development of a monorail system through private funding after the federal government shelved the RM1.6 billion project during the mid-term review of the 9th Malaysia Plan last year.

The Edge had reported on Oct 19 that the Penang government had given the green light to businessman Datuk Jeyakumar Varathan to build and commission a RM70 million monorail test track on a 30-acre site in Batu Kawan.

Updated: 04:27PM Sun, 29 Nov 2009
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