Saarani: Cabinet has approved construction of Expressway

IPOH: The state government confirmed that the Cabinet has approved the construction of the 60-kilometres West Ipoh Span Expressway (Wise) linking Gopeng with Kuala Kangsar yesterday (Dec 13).

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the cost of implementing the project will be fully borne under the Private Financing Initiative (PFI).

"Wise is an approach to resolve the traffic woes along the North-South Expressway (Plus) especially when an accident occurs at Menora Tunnel, and highway users have not other alternatives apart from using the federal road in Sungai Siput.

"With Wise, motorists could use the alternative route from Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar to avoid traffic congestion whenever there is an accident at the Menora Tunnel," he said when met by reporters after opening the 2024 Perak Economic Outlook programme at Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan here today (Dec 14).

Saarani said the state government will give its full cooperation to implement the project including the aspect of land acquisition from the state Lands and Mines Office (PTG).

In this regard, he said the state government is optimistic that the opening of Wise will bring positive impact apart from complementing the West Coast Expressway (WCE).

"Wise will stimulate the state as a a major portion of WCE has been opened to the public. As such it will complement each other," he said.

On September 16, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) chairman, Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias said the construction of Wise was in the final stage of negotiation and it would be finalised by December.

In another development, Saarani said the state government is proposing to develop a non-radioactive Rare Earth Element (NR-REE) laboratory in Simpang Pulai here subject to the approval of the Natural Resources and Sustainability Ministry.

He said the location is seen as suitable because it it fully owned by Menteri Besar Incorporated (MB Inc) which is also one of the mandatory agencies for the development of NR-REE project in Perak.

"Currently we have submitted the application and paperwork related to the development of this laboratory to the ministry and hopefully this (approval) process will be successful and we can start.

"This laboratory is shared between MB Inc, the Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation (Perak SADC) and the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP)," he said at a programme attended by more than 700 participants which aims at focusing on efforts to increase the state's economic growth. conceived in Perak Sejahtera 2030. --BERNAMA

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