GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has been urged to be transparent people on the proposed Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) highway project, which is set to change Penang island’s landscape.
Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) said the people had voiced their concerns on the possible impact of the project on their everyday lives.
Its adviser Yan Lee said many elderly folks had consulted them on whether the project, during construction and upon completion, would have an adverse impact on them.
No one, he said, knows what the project will actually look like, where it will exactly run through, where the affected areas are, which led to many unverified photos and graphics being shared on social media.
“The ‘uncles and aunties’ are asking if heavy vehicles will fall on their houses in the event of accidents.
“This is why we have been fighting for a public consultation on the project so that all these queries can be answered once and for all.
“Just remember that more than 90 per cent of the people of Penang have given the strongest mandate yet to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s administration, and under the New Malaysia, the authorities are answerable to the people,” he told newsmen.
Yan stressed that they were not against any development projects but hoped public engagement could be carried out involving all segments of society.
He said although there is currently a public display of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, regular Penangites do not fully understand its technical contents.
“We really hope that a town hall of sorts can be held by year’s end, before the start of the project proper,” he added.
On Thursday, Chow had issued a statement, saying the Penang government is opened to holding public consultation with the people for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project, which features the PIL 1, among others.
He had also hit out at the inaccurate representation of the PIL 1 highway project by several non-governmental organisations.
The 20km PIL 1 is part of the three main roads which was included in the PTMP.
The highway is expected to reduce traveling time from Persiaran Gurney to the Penang International Airport (PIA) to only 15 minutes, compared to the current travel time of between 45 minutes and an hour.
The EIA for PIL 1 is currently up for public display for 30 days from July 11 until August 30 this year.
The report can be referred by the public at 10 locations including the National Library, Environment and Natural Resources Ministry in Putrajaya, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) apart from Department of Environment (DOE) and the state government’s website.