THE works on the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project are expected to begin first quarter of next year.
Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd (PICSB) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said the implementation works of Island A would be the first to start.
“The scheduled reclamation works will be done in phases. The first phase involves reclaiming 1,200 acres of Island A.
“Phase One is expected to take about four years to complete,” Farizan told Buletin Mutiara at the stakeholders’ engagement centre (Pusat Perkhidmatan Setempat Nelayan), off Permatang Damar Laut today.
The tri-islands PSR project (Islands A, B and C) will be located at the south-end of the Penang island, measuring a total of 4,500 acres in land size. Island A will be 2,300 acres in size, Island B will be 1,400 acres and Island C will be 800 acres.
Farizan said that it would take about nine years to fully reclaim Island A.
“We expect to be able to start selling by the fourth year,” he said.
The PICSB is the special purpose vehicle that will be leading the implementation of the mega projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
PICSB was successfully incorporated on July 9 this year.
The company will be working on the implementation of mega projects in the state, such as the Bayan Lepas LRT (BL LRT), Pan Island Link 1 and 2A (PIL 1 and PIL 2A) and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) that have been entrusted to SRS Consortium as the project delivery partner.
PICSB will also be working on the implementation of the three highways and the undersea tunnel projects that are entrusted to the Consortium Zenith Construction (CZC) Sdn Bhd as the design and built contractor.
In addition, the PICSB will be involved in the planning and development of the PSR, which include the topside development.
Farizan said that it has been the state’s intention to meet the conditions set by Department of Environment (DoE) for the PSR project.
“Some conditions have to be complied prior to the implementation of the project. Others will have to be complied during the implementation of the project.
“We have to start the project before June 24 next year (2021). The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the PSR was approved by the DoE on June 25, 2019, with 72 conditions to be complied with,” he said, adding that the EIA approval has a two-year validity period.
Over 5,000 people have been engaged since December 2015 to July this year.
Farizan said that various parties have been engaged over the years; such as fishermen, beach users, business operators and even hatchery operators.
“A total of 5,762 people has been engaged. The stakeholders can get updated and correct information pertaining to the PSR project from the stakeholders’ engagement centres,” he said.
There are currently two centres available – one in Permatang Damar Laut and the other in Gertak Sanggul.
Better facilities, brighter future
Farizan said that the fishermen would not be ‘directly’ impacted by the land reclamation.
“The reclamation works will not be done from the shore onwards. Instead, it will be done 250m away from the shore (seaward), allowing a 250m water channel for the fishermen to conduct fishing activities and to navigate towards the deeper end of the sea.
“There will also be a 250m channel between Islands A, B and C.
“We try to cater to the requests of the fishermen to ensure a win-win situation. The fishermen can go out to sea and continue their fishing activities despite the reclamation works,” he said.
SRS Consortium deputy project director Azmi Mohamad said the 250m water channel proposal was considered after taking into consideration the hydraulic studies and reports that were approved by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID).
SRS Consortium strategic communications and stakeholder management department head Audrey Lakai said it was being proposed that four fishermen jetties be built to assist the fishermen units affected by the reclamation works.
Farizan said that one of the jetties would be located near the proposed Bayan Lepas LRT station in Permatang Damar Laut.
“It is a prime location and it has a huge potential. Travellers using the Bayan Lepas LRT can hop off at the LRT station in Permatang Damar Laut and enjoy a nice seafood cuisine before heading to their next destination.
“We hope to provide better facilities to uplift the livelihood of the fishermen and the communities living in the area with the implementation of the PSR project,” Farizan said.
He added that it is important for the PSR project to materialise as it is the funding model of the PTMP.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi