Jun 21, 2018
MRT2 And LRT3 To Continue As Planned But Will Be Reviewed By The Ministry First
The Mass Rapid Transit 2 (MRT2) and the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) projects will continue as planned, reported The Star.
“MRT2 is an ongoing project. We won’t touch it and the same goes for the LRT3. However, in terms of cost, these may be reviewed by the Finance Ministry. It is up to them to decide,” said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
However, the Pakatan Harapan government plans to hold a new tender for Phase II of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) rail upgrade project.
“A new tender will be called, but we cannot say how soon,” said shared Loke, adding that the government will not abide the award of the initial tender due to anomalies.
For instance, KVDT Phase II was awarded via direct negotiations and not through an open tender. Aside from being given out just days before the 14th General Election, its RM5.9 billion cost is too much, given that it will only involve “upgrading” railway tracks running from Kuala Lumpur all the way to Port Klang.
“The cost is too high and it works out to RM53 million per km. The whole project is about 110km and there are no new buildings or stations involved, just the track and signalling.”
“We were told the cost is even higher than the Gemas to Johor Bahru double-tracking project, which has new stations and tracks that is cheaper than this project,” he noted.
It was also supposed to be completed over seven years. “Can you imagine if we agreed to seven years… there would be delays in services”.
Nevertheless, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) advised them that implementing Phase II is necessary based on a technical view. “But financially, the government has no means to support it. So, we will have to find out how to go about it,” explained Loke.
Moreover, KVDT Phase II was awarded by the prior administration to a joint venture between Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and DMIA Engineering, the contractor carrying out Phase I.
While 60 percent of Phase I has been finished, there will a three-month delay before it opens next year. Despite the delay, the contractor secured the award for Phase II, he shared.
Phase I involved upgrading 150km of rail system stretching from Rawang to Seremban and from Sentul to Port Klang at a cost of RM1.3 billion.
Queried if the contractor has surpassed the allotted budget, Loke replied that he still needs to confirm this.
“We do not rule out cost overruns but we will not agree to all these things so easily. If the responsibility is on the contractor, why should the government pay for its failure to deliver on time?”
This article was edited by the editorial team of PropertyGuru.