Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak (File pix)
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 -- The East Coast Rail Link's (ECRL) newly-minted Mentakab-Port Klang alignment, also known as Section C, will be displayed for public inspection over three months starting Jan 14.
Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), the ECRL project and asset owner, said the exercise would allow the public to provide feedback and suggestions on the proposed new alignment, which traverses a more southerly route via Negeri Sembilan and the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
Section C comprises a 143.1 km mainline, spurline spanning 41.5 km, five passenger/freight stations, and one future station.
The public inspection information booths for Section C would operate on workdays at the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and the Transport Ministry in Putrajaya until April 14, MRL said in a statement today.
"An additional of five public inspection booths will be operational at the respective district and land offices in Temerloh (Pahang), Jelebu and Seremban (Negeri Sembilan), and Sepang and Kuala Langat (Selangor) from Jan 20 until April 14.
"Public inspection information booths elsewhere will operate on dates to be announced from time to time over the period of three months," said the company, which is wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated.
The public may also visit MRL’s website (www.mrl.com.my) or access the ECRL project’s social media platform for the latest information and details on the public inspection exercise.
APAD recently gave MRL a conditional approval for the ECRL railway scheme for Section C.
The section has designated passenger and freight stations in Temerloh and Jenjarom in Selangor, as well as passenger-only stations at Klawang and Nilai in Negeri Sembilan, and Putrajaya Sentral.
MRL chief executive officer Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak said the new alignment for Section C was conceived to avoid the costly construction of the 17.8 km long Genting Tunnel under the initial ECRL route as well as to stay clear of the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge in Selangor, which is being established as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“The alignment is crucial in the formation of a land bridge between Kuantan Port and Port Klang where the 640-km ECRL network will end.
"This will pave the way for increased freight transactions due to shorter travel time between the two ports,” he said, adding that the stretch via a more southerly route took into greater consideration of rail connectivity, environmental safeguards, and social-economic impact.
Besides enabling more states to participate in the 640-km ECRL rail network, Darwis said, the Section C alignment would also facilitate the ECRL to leverage on the existing Express Rail Link service and the upcoming MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line (SSP Line) which had earmarked an interchange at Putrajaya Sentral for connectivity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Kuala Lumpur’s central business district.
He said the new alignment would help smoothen rail connectivity on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia as ECRL passengers could connect to KTM Komuter and Electric Train Service (ETS) via ECRL’s Nilai station.
“In line with the public inspection, MRL has initiated the Environmental Impact Assessment, Social Impact Assessment, and Heritage Impact Assessment reports for consideration by relevant authorities in a bid to obtain the final approval from APAD,” he noted.
Darwis said preliminary works such as topography survey were actively going on at multiple spots along the Section C alignment while soil investigation works were expected to begin soon.
Barring the final approval, he said civil works for the stretch, including earthworks and foundation works, were targeted to start from July 2020 onwards.
“MRL is pleased that the overall progress of the ECRL project has increased to 14.49 per cent currently, boosted primarily by ongoing construction works at 27 priority locations within its Dungun to Mentakab alignment (also known as Section B),” he added.
China Communications Construction Company Ltd is the main contractor for the 640-km ECRL which will traverse the East Coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang as well as Negeri Sembilan, Putrajaya and Selangor on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
The project is scheduled for completion by December 2026.