We should be careful what we pray for. Instead of being guaranteed prosperity for the next 20 years, we might end up with guaranteed congestion in the future – unless we can rapidly move away from private vehicle ownership.
Over the last couple of days already, some motorists were caught in jams on the island. What more with eight to nines lanes of traffic entering the island during major public holidays when the second link and tunnel are completed. And let’s not forget rising oil prices, which will place a heavy burden on daily commuters using their own cars.
The other big question is, how is the tunnel going to be financed? By giving land reclamation rights to the firm from China? Or in exchange for land? (Like how the Jelutong Expressway, which cost a few hundred million ringgit, was built by a developer in exchange for the state giving away valuable land reclamation rights with GDV worth billions of ringgit?)
This report in The Star:
CM: Pray for third link Tunnel could ensure economic boom for state
BUTTERWORTH: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has called on Penangites to pray for the success of the proposed third link, an undersea tunnel between Bagan Ajam here and Gurney Drive on the island.
He said prosperity in Penang could be guaranteed for the next 20 years if the project was implemented.
“I will visit the Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) next year to know more about the third link project that they have proposed.
“The BUCG has completed several reputable projects, including the famous Bird’s Nest Olympics Stadium in Beijing,” he said after visiting the Butterworth Buddhist Association in conjunction with Wesak Day celebrations here yesterday.
Lim dismissed talk that the BUCG would pump RM10bil into the project as well as into two other road projects in George Town, but he said he did not doubt the company had the necessary resources to build the tunnel.
“We have yet to discuss with the BUCG how the tunnel project would be financed,” he said, adding that he would use the state’s open tender policy to determine the cost.
Asked if the project would affect Penang Port Sdn Bhd operations in the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT), Lim said it should not be a problem, as similar links had been built in busier ports such as in Shanghai.