The 3rd Link Of The Under Seabed Tunnel Between Gurney Drive And Bagan Ajam Would Not Only Serve As A Development Game-changer and Economic Catalyst For Economic Growth For Seberang Perai Utara(SPU) But Also Reduce Traffic Congestion In Penang Island.(en/cn)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 2.3.2014.

Following the opening of the Penang 2nd Bridge or Sultan Abdul Halim Mua’dzam Shah(SAHMS) Bridge, the BN media has gone into overdrive in asking the Penang state government to abandon the proposed 3rd link of an under-seabed tunnel between Gurney Drive on the island and Bagan Ajam on the mainland. Only 2 flimsy objections were given namely that there is no need for a third link in Penang, now that there are 2 bridges reducing traffic congestion and the issue environmental concerns of building an under-seabed tunnel.

Any basic transportation studies will bear out the premise that for an island, the more links the better in terms of reducing traffic bottlenecks and traffic congestion. Further this under-seabed tunnel is financed partly and is a key element of the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) for the Phase 2 of the Tanjung Pinang land reclamation project by the E&O group. This 940 acre land reclamation project was approved, concluded and signed by the previous BN state government. At that time, the same BN media did not object to the land reclamation project.

The state government honoured the previous agreement signed but managed to include additional public interest elements such as working out a traffic dispersal scheme within the system with a RM 6.3 billion project that includes:-
• a 4-lane highway from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang,
• a 4-lane highway Air Hitam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway,
• a 4-lane highway Gurney Drive to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway; and
• an under sea-bed tunnel connecting Gurney Drive on the island to the mainland in Bagan Ajam.

The whole project was awarded by open competitive tender. This under seabed tunnel would take up to 12 years to complete. By that time, there would be a need for a third link with population growth and if the Penang state government realises its vision of transforming Penang into an international and intelligent city that attract top human talents. After all, 12 years after the first Penang Bridge was open, there was a clear need for a second bridge.

If Hong Kong can have 3 under-seabed tunnels apart from its many bridges, why can’t Penang have just one tunnel? Further, building tunnels are better for the environment than bridges. If there is no problem with the 2 bridges in Penang, clearly there is no problem with a tunnel in Penang. Further, other BN states talking about building tunnels is not an issue but an issue in Penang.

An additional benefit would be to bring development to Seberang Perai Utara(SPU). If Seberang Perai Tengah can be served by the first bridge and Seberang Perai Selatan by the second bridge, why should SPU be left out? SPU comprises of 3 parliamentary seats and 9 state seats of which 2 parliamentary seats ad 6 state seats are controlled by UMNO. By building the tunnel to develop SPU, the Penang state government is demonstrating that every Penangite is treated fairly including UMNO strongholds. Why is the BN media opposed to the Penang PR state government wanting to bring development and treat UMNO supporters fairly in UMNO areas?

Clearly, the 3rd link of the under-seabed tunnel between Gurney Drive and Bagan Ajam would not only serve as a development game-changer and economic catalyst for economic growth for Seberang Perai Utara(SPU) but also reduce traffic congestion in Penang island.
LIM GUAN ENG

—-Mandarin Version —-

槟州首席长林冠英于2014年3月2日在吉隆坡发表声明:

关仔角和峇眼阿占之间的槟城第三条通道–海底隧道不只将是威北发展的改变因子及经济成长的催化器,它也将减缓槟岛的交通阻塞。

随着槟城二桥或苏丹阿都哈林大桥的开幕,国阵媒体进一步要求槟州政府搁置位于关仔角和峇眼阿占之间第三通道海底隧道的计划。他们提出两个薄弱的理由,就是目前不需要第三通道,因为现有两座大桥将能减缓交通阻塞,兴建海底隧道也引发环境问题的考量。

任何交通研究都会总结说一个岛屿必须要有更多的连接通道,以减少交通瓶颈及阻塞。再说,上述海底隧道是部分融资,也是依恩奥集团填海计划丹绒槟榔第二阶段的交通影响评估报告的主要部分。这片940英亩的填土计划已经由前朝国阵政府批准 、总结及签约。那个时候,国阵媒体并没有反对填土计划。

州政府履行前朝政府签署的合约,但是我们加入数项与公共利益有关的内容,包括一项价值63亿令吉的交通流量疏导计划 :
• 从丹绒武雅到直落巴巷的四车道高速公路
• 从亚依淡到敦林苍佑大道的四车道高速公路
• 从关仔角到敦林苍佑大道的四车道高速公路
• 连接关仔角到威北峇眼阿占的海底隧道

整项工程是通过公开招标进行的。这项海底隧通工程将会耗时12年。到时,我们需要第三条通道来应付人口成长,如果槟州政府实现了将槟州转型成为吸引顶尖人才的国际及智能城市。再说,在槟城大桥 开通后12年,当局也意识到需要第二大桥 。

如果香港可以在多座大桥之外拥有三座海底隧道,为什么槟城不能拥有一条海底隧道?兴建海底隧道的环境影响比大桥更小。如果兴建两座槟城都没有问题,那么兴建海底隧道也不会有问题。再说,其它国阵州属在谈论兴建隧道不是问题,在槟城却是问题。

上述工程也将带动威北的发展。如果第一大桥可以带动威中、而第二大桥可以带动威南,为什么威北要被忽略?威北有3个国会议席及9个州议席,其中2国6州是巫议的议席。兴建隧道发展威北,槟州政府向每个槟城人展示民联公平对待人民包括巫统的选区。为什么国阵媒体反对槟州民联政府带动发展及公平对待巫统的支持者?

很明显的, 关仔角和峇眼阿占之间的槟城第三条通道–海底隧道不只将是威北发展的改变因子及经济成长的催化器,它也将减缓槟岛的交通阻塞。

林冠英

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