Minister says ECRL will change economic landscape of Tunjong

by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE relaunch of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will accelerate the development and economic growth of Tunjong, a paddy field area located about 7km from Kota Baru.

The project, which was put on hold since July last year and relaunched on July 25, by Transport Minister Anthony Loke (picture), will bring about positive impacts to local companies which will be playing an active role in it.

The development in Tunjong began to take place following the construction of several buildings that housed government departments or agencies such as the Department of Lands and Mines, Fire and Rescue Department, National Audit Department, Education Department and the newest, the Kota Baru Court Complex.

Most famous is the Urban Transformation Centre which also houses several government agencies such as the Road Transport Department, National Registration Department, as well as local banks.

For locals, who never expected that the ECRL main station would be built in Tunjong, they welcomed the efforts by the Federal government.

“Tunjong used to be just a paddy field area and is now developing rapidly. With this ECRL, it will be the most important city apart from Kota Baru,” said Subki Rosli, 45, who is confident that Tunjong will be a thriving city following the implementation of the ECRL project.

For budget hotel and homestay operator Zulfakar Zulkafli, 47, the tourism industry will enjoy a boost following visits by local and foreign tourists to Kelantan with the availability of the high-speed train.

Meanwhile, a car salesman Samsuddin Ahmad said as soon as passengers arrived at the ECRL station, other ground transportation would become a priority, which is why the automotive sector is booming nowadays.

Future Hardware Trading representative Wan Ahmad Wan Daud said since it was announced several years ago, the project had increased the construction of shop houses and residential areas.

“The materials for building houses like cement, brick, sand and wood are selling like hot cakes,” he said.

Batik trader Ahmad Fadhli Ibrahim, 51, said the short travel time would allow entrepreneurs to market their downstream products, as well as benefit the services and agriculture sectors.

“The ECRL project opens up economic opportunities to the villagers, who are mostly farmers and they can market their products outside the state,” he said.