KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — The decision by the Selangor executive council (Exco) to defend its stand on not agreeing with the East Coast Rail Link’s (ECRL) proposed re-alignment will only further delay the mega project’s Section C (Mentakab-Port Klang) and potentially delay the scheduled overall completion of the project by December 2026.
In a statement today, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said the Selangor Exco should reconsider its decision in view of the advantages to complete the ECRL as well as the solutions and mitigation plans that have been put in place to address concerns on the environmental and social impact of the project.
“MRL would like to reiterate that the construction of the ECRL is of national interest and not for the benefit of any state in particular.
“It is envisioned as a game-changer and catalyst for socio-economic growth that narrows the economic inequality between the West Coast and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.
He said the statement made by the Exco was a real letdown especially after MRL as the project owner had made countless engagements with the Selangor state government and its agencies in the past eight months from June 2020 until February this year on the plan to revert to the original alignment.
“In fact, engagements have received constructive feedbacks from the Selangor State Government’s technical departments and agencies,” he said.
He said MRL has also addressed all issues raised by the various state agencies in the reversion to the ECRL original alignment and has provided solutions and mitigations involving environmental protection, minimising social impact and improving rail connectivity among others.
“For example, MRL has presented a definitive solution to the issue of safeguarding the Gombak Quartz Ridge by designing an alignment that traverses through an existing road for ECRL to cross the quartz ridge.
“As such, MRL is shocked that the Exco has brushed aside convincing details that MRL has furnished, be it to the various state agencies or the Selangor Economic Action Council on the clear advantages of the ECRL’s original alignment,” he added.
Previously, it was reported that Selangor supported the ECRL project but is adamant on defending its stand for the rail network to traverse via a southern route across Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya as opposed to the northern route via Gombak and Serendah as announced by the Transport Minister recently.