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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Minister: Penang gov't double counted on tunnel road project

The BN government has fired its latest salvo at the Penang government, in a long and drawn out back-and-forth match on whether the state had overpaid on consultation fees for three major roads related to the undersea tunnel.
In its latest response, Works Minister Fadillah Yusof smashed Penang exco member Chow Kon Yeow's justification that the RM177.5 million payment was not overpriced due to the inclusion of 10 additional components.
"However, this (justification) is not true and can be considered as double counting.
"Many of these 10 additional components cited by Chow were found to be sub-components of either the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA), the feasibility studies or the detailed design," Fadillah said in a statement today.
At a press conference on June 24, Chow (photo) was quoted by The Star and The Sun as saying that the RM177.5 million payment for detailed design consultation also included 10 other job scopes.
"(This includes) land survey, DEIA, land tunnel design, architectural design, mechanical and electrical, project management, social impact study, traffic impact study, and financial feasibility and funding management,” he had reportedly said.
Fadillah, however, said the DEIA, social impact study, traffic impact study, and financial feasibility and funding management were components of the project's feasibility study - which he said the state had already paid a separate RM31.2 million for.
"Based on the information given, we note that the total pre-construction consultancy fees for the 20km of roads are RM208.7 million - comprising of RM31.2 million for feasibility studies and RM177.5 million for detailed design.

"Our ministry and the Board of Engineers stand by our opinion that the total fees paid for the three roads are significantly above our guidelines and excessive," Fadillah said.
The tunnel project comprises four packages: A road from Tanjong Bungah to Teluk Bahang, a road from the Dr Lim Chong Eu Highway to Ayer Itam, a road from the Dr Lim Chong Eu Highway to Gurney Drive, and the undersea tunnel itself, which would serve as the third roadway connecting Penang Island to the mainland.
The RM6.34 billion project is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan that is slated for completion in 2030, but the start of the tunnel project’s construction has been delayed since 2013.- Mkini

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