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'Why ask for undersea tunnel study when we asked for third bridge approval?'

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The Penang state government is puzzled over Works Minister Fadillah Yusof's request for a feasibility study for the undersea tunnel when the state had asked for approval for a third bridge.

"The state government finds it difficult to grasp your logic, sir, when you asked for the feasibility study (and structural design report for the undersea tunnel). It (the request) has nothing to do with the third bridge proposal.

"What the state government is applying for is approval for the third bridge and not the undersea tunnel," Lim said in his letter to Fadillah today.

However, he said that the state would comply with the ministry's request and would submit the feasibility study as well as the structural design report for the undersea tunnel once it is ready.

At present, Lim said that the study is 83 percent completed and should be ready at the end of this year or early next year at the latest.

Lim's letter was in reply to a letter from the ministry on July 25, which asked for the study and design report in relation to approval for plans for the third bridge.

The chief minister expressed hope that the ministry can approve the project in principle until the reports are ready, so that the state can proceed with its plan to implement the project.

The state and the ministry have been playing a ping-pong match in the media over proposed infrastructure projects designed to help ease cross-Penang straits traffic, with the undersea tunnel project being at the centre of some controversy.

The planned third bridge will link Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam on the mainland and supplement the existing two bridges linking the island to the mainland.

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