PASIR PUTEH: There has been a hive of tourism-related activities in Tok Bali here after the government relaunched the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project which was put on hold since July last year.
Dotting its white sandy beaches are several structures at different stages of construction, believed to be hotels and homestay lodgings.
Razali Ibrahim, 50, from Kampung Tok Tok Kambing, who operates a guesthouse, said those in the tourism industry were looking forward to the ECRL station being built in the area as it would inadvertently bring in more visitors from outside Kelantan.
He said those in the hospitality industry, upon realising the potential of the new rail link, were building more hotels to accommodate tourist arrivals later.
“Visitors are likely to choose accommodations close to the ECRL station and other places which can be easily reached via other public transports too,” Razali told Bernama here today.
Besides tourism, the fishing industry in the area would also stand to gain from the project, said fishmonger Mohd Syaffiq Akmal Mohd Azmi, 23, who runs a stall at the old market in Tok Bali.
“Tok Bali is a fishing town, as its shores are where fishermen bring their daily catch. Moreover, it is closely linked with the shipping industry. Many shops and houses are being built here, property prices are booming.
“Once this (ECRL) project is completed, players in the fishing industry can penetrate the market in Kuala Lumpur and could use the ECRL cargo facilities, while those in Kuala Lumpur could also come directly to Tok Bali,” he said.
For Che Asiah Mamat, 52, a small-and-medium entrepreneur who had long dreamt of selling her chips and crackers to the central and southern regions of the country directly, the rail link will be a dream come true.
“My children are prepared to sell my products online, and I am already working on improving the packaging to make them more attractive for customers in Kuala Lumpur to enjoy fresh stocks of chips and crackers,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rosiah Mohamad, 40, and her mother Che Minah Che Muda, 53, who sell items such as dried fish, fish sauce, salted eggs, homemade palm sugar and garlic pickles, have plans to market their products in Kuala Lumpur using the ECRL.
“We have been so far transporting our products by bus and through the postal service when there are orders from our customers in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, but when the ECRL is ready, we have been informed that we can send our products through its cargo train,” she said.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke was reported as saying the ECRL would reduce the travel time from Kota Baru to Putrajaya to just four hours with the train travelling at a speed of 160 km/h, covering 20 stations.
Altogether, there are 14 passenger stations, five passenger/cargo stations and one for cargo.
The announcement to revive the ECRL project was made in April and it was officially relaunched last Thursday (July 25). - Bernama