ECRL at 23.96% completion, dragged by MCO

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by TMR FILE

THE East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is at 23.96% completion, slightly behind its schedule of 25% as of Aug 31, 2021.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (picture) said the delay was due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

However, he noted that the Transport Ministry (MoT) is committed to ensuring that the ECRL is completed according to its timeline.

“The progress for Section A from Kota Bharu to Dungun, which includes six stations, has reached 11.59% behind its schedule of 12.01%,” Wee said today in Dewan Rakyat in response to Dungun’s MP Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli.

Meanwhile, the progress for Section B from Dungun to Temerloh has reached 28.04%, ahead of the targeted 26.90%.

“For Section C from Temerloh to Pelabuhan Klang, the government is still studying the best alignment to ensure the multiplier effects to the local economy.

“In this regard, it is important that the ECRL is strategically connected to the national rail logistics network,” he stated.

Wee said that the logistical advantages will be achieved without reducing the quality of passenger services, thus making ECRL an economic catalyst.

“Currently, MoT expects the completion date for Sections A and B to remain as scheduled, which is Dec 31, 2026. However, the completion of Section C is expected to be delayed by 12 months which is Dec 31, 2027,”  he said.

He further said that MoT is also committed to ensuring 30% participation of local contractors in the ECRL project which amounts to RM8.6 billion.

“A committee established by the cabinet, consisting of MoT, the Finance Ministry and the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) is looking into the matter and we have ensured that the main contractor, China Communications Construction Company Ltd adheres to the Bumiputera participation target,” Wee said.