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Light rail between Bandar Utama and Johan Setia in M’sia now set for 2024 completion

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference at UOA Tower, Bangsar February 22, 2019. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22, 2019, MalayMail. The revived Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) will be completed by February 2024. This was announced after Prasarana Malaysia Berhad, MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd and nine work package contractor (WPC) companies signed the novation agreement to resume work today, reported the MalayMail.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who was on hand to witness the signing ceremony, said the project’s feasibility was finally approved after rationalisation to cut costs from RM31.65 billion to RM16.63 billion, or 47 per cent less.

“The savings of RM15.02 billion will allow a higher volume of users utilising the public transport as the price of tickets does not need to be too expensive.

“It is redundant if a new and shiny public transport system is built but no users are on it because of the high fare as a result of inflated construction costs,” he said.

He mentioned these during his address at the signing held at the Prasarana headquarters in Bangsar, accompanied by Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook, and Federal Territories Minister Mohd Khalid Abd Samad.

Also present was Prasarana president and group chairman Datuk Mohamed Hazlan Mohamed Hussain, who explained the restructuring and rationalisation process meant the risks surrounding inflated costs were transferred to the contractors.

He said by utilising a Fixed Price Contract with the WPC companies, the added costs over time will not raise the government’s final bill.

“The risk is transferred to the contractors from Prasarana until the completion of the project, rather than adding financial burden on to us,” he said when asked about contracted prices potentially inflating against foreign exchange fluctuations.

Lim and Mohamed Hazlan said the remainder payments due to the WPC companies would be paid out as soon as possible.

“We will subsidise the payments based on loans and bonds; its financial architecture will be under the MOF (Ministry of Finance),” said Lim.

The LRT3 project is set to connect the townships of Bandar Utama and Johan Setia in Klang, covering a distance of over 37.6 kilometres.

It is said to benefit around two million people living along the route, with 20 stations and 22 sets of three-car trains.

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