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Penang Hill cable car construction works expected to begin by end of May this year — state exco

Publish date: Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 08:59 PM

GEORGE TOWN (April 14): Construction works for the Penang Hill cable car project here are expected to commence at the end of May or early June, and be fully completed within two- to three years, according to a state executive councillor.

Zairil Khir Johari, who is in charge of infrastructure, transport and digital, said the Penang Hill Corporation is conducting the traffic impact assessment before launching the project.

He said planning permission for the project, estimated to cost RM250 million to RM300 million, was obtained last January.

"We have received approval from all parties, including the environmental impact assessment from the Department of Environment, National Physical Planning Council, planning consent from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the social impact assessment for this project,” he told reporters after attending the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency Aidilfitri carnival here on Sunday.

Also present were Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng, and Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament Syerleena Abdul Rashid.

Zairil said the 2.7-kilometre cable car line will link the Botanical Gardens to the peak of Penang Hill, and it will have a positive impact on tourism in the area.

"The journey to the hilltop will take approximately 10 minutes only, which is the same time it takes for visitors to reach the peak by funicular train. It will be an alternative, especially during school holiday seasons, which are usually crowded and require long waiting times," he said.

Commenting on a handful of non-governmental organisations and other entities still opposing the project, Zairil said the state government always follows the procedures and guidelines set regarding the implementation of the project.

"There are no laws that we do not follow; all approvals have also been obtained and this project is also environmentally friendly, with minimal impact on the environment, few trees to be cut down and no heritage trees to be felled," he said.

Leading integrated railcar and rail services company Hartasuma Sdn Bhd won the project with an investment of RM250 million made through a public-private partnership initiative with the Penang government.

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