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Penang’s undersea tunnel project awaits port masterplan

By admin Nov24,2023

The fate of Penang’s undersea tunnel project hinges on the comprehensive masterplan for the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT), set to be finalised by the Penang Port Commission (PPC) by the year’s end.

Zairil Khir Johari, chairman of the state Infrastructure, Transportation, and Digital Economy Committee, emphasised that the preservation of the ship navigation area in the port’s northern waters is paramount for smooth vessel movement.

“Before delving into the tunnel project, we must factor in the alignment, and this will be contingent on the PPC’s NBCT expansion masterplan,” stated Zairil during his winding-up address at the State Legislative Assembly.

The project, along with three major road constructions amounting to RM6.34 billion, includes the Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway-Bandar Baru Air Itam, and Pangkor Road-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

Alternatively, Zairil expressed optimism about Penang’s trajectory toward becoming an international smart city by 2030.

He commended the state’s commitment to infrastructure development, highlighting initiatives such as the Creative Digital District project, ESG Incubation Hub, SME100 Digital Champion, and Founder’s Grit Seed Programme.

Zairil noted that these efforts, spearheaded by Digital Penang, aim to attract more investors to the state.

Collaborating with the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN), Digital Penang facilitates the growth and establishment of startups in Penang. MBAN has established branches in the state to assist startup companies in securing their initial capital.

To enhance service delivery, the state launched the Digital Integrated Service Centre (DISC) across its 40 constituencies.

Zairil reported that 17 constituencies have already embraced this system, aligning with technological advancements.

Addressing perennial traffic congestion, Zairil emphasised ongoing discussions with various authorities to develop infrastructure projects as part of the state’s long-term planning. He specifically highlighted the importance of addressing traffic issues for motorists traveling from Juru to Sungai Dua.

Providing an update on the Penang South Island (PSI) project, Zairil assured that progress is underway. Dismissing claims that the project would adversely impact the marine environment, he cited the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report by the Department of Environment (DOE) after considering public feedback and relevant authorities’ approval.

Source: Buletin Mutiara

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