Penang's proposal to build a light rail transit system (LRT) from Bayan Lepas to Komtar has obtained federal approval, announced the Transport Ministry today.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the approval was obtained after thorough consideration, and is subjected to several conditions under Section 83 and 84 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010.
Section 83 of the Act states that after the minister issues a conditional approval, all documents related to the project have to be submitted to the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) for public viewing and feedback for three months.
According to Section 84 (4) of the Act, this period starts on the last day that the notice was published in the media.
"These complete documents about the project will be displayed in public places, including government offices, which will be announced in the media soon," said Loke, via a statement today.
"To fulfil the present requirements and to improve the government's level of transparency, the documents should also be uploaded on the websites for all to view," added Loke.
"After all the feedback obtained from the public display about the project has been reviewed, another application to seek full approval of the project must be sent to the Transport Ministry, as required by Section 84 of the Act," Loke stressed.
Last month, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang was seeking funds to finance the building of the LRT.
His remarks comes after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the federal government was willing to consider funding the project if the state applies for it.
The LRT, measuring 29.9km in length from Bayan Lepas to Komtar, is part of the state's ambitious RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
It comes with 27 stops, covering Bukit Gelugor, Bayan Baru, Bayan Lepas and the Penang International Airport, where the track ends at the proposed Penang South Reclamation area in Bayan Lepas.
"Building of the project will be in two phases.
"APAD had imposed 30 conditions on the project, including obtaining the approval of the Detailed Environment Impact Assessment for the Bayan Lepas LRT and PSR," Loke said.
"Conditions also include carrying out a social impact assessment study, a heritage impact assessment study, and traffic impact assessment study, including complying thoroughly and effectively with other conditions related to technical, social and monitoring factors," he added.
Loke welcomed the public and NGOs, including all stakeholders, to view and provide feedback on the project when its documents are released for public viewing.
"I am confident that the public transport infrastructure development will prioritise the long-term requirements to develop a complete and inclusive transport system to guarantee the people's well-being, in the state as well as country," Loke said.