EIA for S’gor ECRL section approved in Dec 2021: M’sia Rail Link

KUALA LUMPUR – The construction of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project’s Selangor section has gained the appropriate approval from local authorities, including for the environmental impact assessment (report), according to Malaysia Rail Link (MRL).

In a statement today, project owner MRL clarified that the EIA for Section C2 of the project (Gombak-Serendah-Port Klang) was submitted to the Environment Department on November 30, 2021 and was approved on December 20, 2021.

Similarly, MRL also stressed that land clearing activities for the project in the state do not involve any degazettement of forest reserves, including those within the Selangor State Park.

“To facilitate preparatory works for ECRL construction, MRL has obtained a right-of-way permit from the Forestry Department so that our contractors can enter the forest reserve to carry out licensed activities related to ECRL.

“To safeguard the environment, the ECRL project has, among others, complied with the approved environmental impact assessment (EIA), environmental management plan and erosion and sediment control plans guidelines and conditions that were prescribed by the Environment Department and Irrigation and Drainage Department accordingly,” said the statement.

The ECRL Railway Scheme for Section C2 was granted by the Transport Ministry to MRL on January 14, 2022 after a 3-month public inspection as per the statutory requirements of the Land Public Transport Act 2010.

Similarly, MRL had also received approval from the Selangor government to proceed with construction of the ECRL section on September 14, 2022.

MRL’s statement comes after non-governmental organisation Rimba Disclosure asserted that it found land-clearing activities in four areas in the Selangor State Park.

Rimba Disclosure also claimed that the EIA for Section C2 had not yet been approved.

In response to these allegations, Selangor exco Hee Loy Sian clarified yesterday that the ECRL section in Selangor had gained the necessary approval from the state government.

However, according to state government officials, a Chinese construction company behind land-clearing works in Selangor’s forest reserves for the ECRL project faced enforcement action last year for not abiding by standard operating procedures.

China Communications Construction Company (M) Sdn Bhd (CCCC) had indeed secured a permit to work on the ECRL project but began work for that portion in Selangor in December last year before receiving approval from the state Forestry Department, according to a clarification by Jay Jay Denis, who is special officer to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

“They (CCCC) thought that they could go ahead with work just because they have the permit, but they actually needed to make an application to the department to notify authorities that they will be starting work.

“This is so that the department can send personnel to the site to ensure that correct parts of the forests are being carved out,” he said when contacted by The Vibes.

CCCC is the turnkey developer for the project, which is wholly owned by MRL, a subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Incorporated.

MRL today clarified that as project owner of ECRL, together with the main contractor CCCC, it is fully committed to total compliance with all requirements laid out by the authorities to protect the environment and safeguard public interest.

“For our ongoing project in Selangor, we work closely with authorities and government agencies at all levels including the federal government, the Selangor government, Selangor Forestry Department, Environment Department and all relevant local councils,” said the statement. – The Vibes, February 6, 2023

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