Time to revisit the paired road project:
The Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) calls on the newly elected Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow, and the state government to be fully transparent on the need for the North Coastal Paired Road project, the implications of this for the residents affected by the road, what alternatives were considered and deemed not feasible, and how the state action plan addresses all the concerns of the public.
This must urgently be done prior to the commencement of any works for the NCPR.
TBRA has learnt that the state action plan for the paired roads, including the NCPR, was a requirement imposed by the Department of Environment so that the issues raised by the public would be addressed prior to the approval of the environmental impact assessment.
TBRA urges the chief minister to make the state action plan public so that we can assess if our concerns have been addressed effectively.
We also want to know if the state action plan has addressed concerns arising from the most recent floods and landslides that occurred on 5 November 2017 following heavy rains, which involved parts of the areas along the proposed NCPR alignment in Tanjung Bungah.
TBRA has been raising our concerns regarding the NCPR both to the Department of Environment and the Penang state government previously. We had pointed out serious environmental and social impacts of the NCPR especially for thousands of residents living along the road alignment.
The EIA had revealed that about 46% of the proposed road will be on terrain with a higher than 25-degree slope, which is well known to be ‘sensitive hill land’.
How and whether the Penang state government and the Department of Environment have addressed this concern is a mystery to us that requires further clarification.
Since the Penang state government has provided an action plan to the Department of Environment, it is vital for this to be made public urgently and to seek public feedback, as this will be in line with the spirit of the state government and the new Pakatan manifesto to be transparent and accountable to the rakyat.
TBRA also pointed out and continues to maintain that the ‘saving’ of 14 minutes of time travelled between TanjungBungah and Teluk Bahang at a cost of RM1bn for the NCPR will soon vanish once more traffic demand is generated by the new road in the coming years.
What has also not been made clear is how the state is going to disperse the traffic from the NCPR that ends in Lembah Permai in Tanjung Bungah to Straits Quay.
Hence, no construction on the NCPR should commence until our concerns have been addressed urgently and adequately.
Tanjung Bungah Residents Association