KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — The
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the KL MRT has been
approved, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) said today, paving the way
for the project’s expected kick-off on July 8.
Without the EIA approval by the Department of the Environment (DOE), the
government’s proposed multi-billion rail project would not have been able to
proceed as planned.
“We’ve got the EIA approved,” said SPNB’s group director for project
development Zulkifli Yusoff in a media briefing.
The Malaysian Insider later learnt that the DOE had given a conditional
approval for the EIA in early April, following which SPNB submitted an
Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to address areas of concern as listed by
The EMP, which is a living document to be updated as the project progresses,
was approved at the end of April.
“We are bound by the EMP,” said Zulkifli. “All (environmental mitigation)
measures contained in he EMP will be monitored by the DOE.”
A local research group - Association for Water and Energy Research Malaysia
(AWER) - had earlier raised concerns over the EIA, urging the DOE to reject
the EIA prepared for the multi-billion ringgit Klang Valley MRT project. It
further accused the project consultants of doing an incomplete study of the
MRT and its impact on people and the environment.
Regulators for the MRT project had admitted to possible weaknesses in the
supporting infrastructure for the multibillion ringgit project but gave
their assurance that all aspects covering the rail line would be considered
before construction kicks off in July.
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Nur
Ismail Mohamed Kamal told a press conference on February 13 that the
government was aware of the likely obstacles it would face in facilitating
the movement of commuters from their homes to the MRT stations across the
city, and was working on improving its feeder network through the
construction of more “park and rides” stations and an increased frequency of
But the regulator also conceded it had not researched the possibility of
commuters having to fork out extra money for fuel usage in their travels to
and from their homes and the MRT stations.
“We have not done a specific research on that, but to be honest, I cannot
see how driving to the station would be more expensive than going to Bukit
Bintang (for example) in my car,” he pointed out.
Mohd Nur was responding to claims by AWER that the proposed MRT, estimated
to cost RM36.6 billion, would force commuters to spend an additional RM403.5
billion on fuel usage in the first five years of operations.
This, said AWER, was because the MRT system was not accompanied by a
sustainable supporting system and would likely cause increased traffic
congestion on the roads during rush hours.
Mohd Nur said he neither agreed nor disagreed with AWER’s projections but
pointed out that the government was willing to consider all feedback from
concerned citizens and civil society groups before kicking off the project.
He, however, pointed out that AWER’s research had likely been done based on
the assumption that nothing would be done to improve the MRT’s supporting
“We realise there are current weaknesses as far as integration and feeder
services to feed the existing railway infrastructure are concerned. But more
importantly, that cost estimate (by AWER) was based on the presumption that
nothing will be done.
“So what we are going to say here is that we are concerned on that lesson
(learned) and we want to make it right for the MRT and future railway
infrastructure,” he said.
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