MRT Corp remains confident to meet the project deadline, despite recent cost-cutting measures taken by the govt
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The construction of the RM30.5 billion Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line is 41% completed to date, as the rail project is expected to meet the deadline in July 2022.
Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) remains confident to meet the project deadline, despite recent cost-cutting measures taken by the government, which shaved RM8.8 billion from the overall cost of the SSP Line. The project’s phase one is expected to be operational in 2021, while the second phase is targeted to be completed in the following year.
The 52.2km SSP Line achieved its first tunnel-boring machine (TBM) breakthrough yesterday, after the machine successfully drilled a 1.9km underground rail path from Bandar Malaysia to the Chan Sow Lin station for the past 11 months.
“The first breakthrough of the TBM for the SSP Line is an important milestone to show that we are right on track based on what we planned.
“We would be able to deliver the line for public usage in 2021 and 2022,” MRT Corp strategic communications and stakeholder relations director Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah told reporters yesterday.
Najmuddin said the tunnelling process progressed smoothly, although there were some geological issues.
“There was an added difficulty to tunnel beneath the 13-lane Jalan Sungai Besi, busy Jalan Chan Sow Lin and live light rail transit tracks near the Chan Sow Lin station,” he said.
The TBM, codenamed S-776VD, is also the same machine that made a breakthrough for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line five years ago.
Five TBMs are currently in operation and seven more will be launched this year to bore 16 tunnel sections, with some TBMs handling two sections.
The S-776-VD will be pulled across the Chan Sow Lin station box and start to excavate its second tunnel drive northward to the Tun Razak Exchange station.
The Chan Sow Lin station box is 40m deep, while Ampang Park is the deepest station in the rail alignment at 43m.
After the 14th General Election last year, the project’s turnkey contractor MMC-Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd was faced with cost rationalisation initiatives brought forward by the new Pakatan Harapan government.
As a result, the consortium offered to reduce the cost by RM8.8 billion, or 22.4%, of the total cost to RM30.5 billion, comprising RM5.2 billion for the above-ground portion and RM3.6 billion for the underground works.
The contractor also scrapped two underground stations, namely Bandar Malaysia (North) and Bandar Malaysia (South) as part of the costsaving measures, reducing the total number of stations from 35 to 33.