Additional RM4.7b allocated for LRT3 to serve multiple purposes, clarifies Loke

TheEdge Thu, Nov 02, 2023 02:52pm - 5 months View Original

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2): The additional RM4.7 billion allocation for the LRT3 project, as announced in Budget 2024, will be used for various purposes, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

He stated that this includes the construction of five new stations, the acquisition of three sets of three-car trains to maintain service intervals, upgrading of the train depot, as well as other expenses involving independent checking engineers, project management and legal fees.

Additionally, the allocation will cover land acquisition costs, insurance premiums and fees due to project delays during the Covid-19 lockdown, said Loke.

"The allocation will also support the development of the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system and the acquisition of land for electric bus depots to provide intermediary bus services to all 25 stations along the line," he added during his ministerial response on Budget 2024 in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

Notably, the construction cost of five previously cancelled LRT3 stations has come under scrutiny.

On October 13, while presenting Budget 2024 in Dewan Rakyat, Prime Minister cum Minister of Finance Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that five previously cancelled LRT3 stations, namely Tropicana, Raja Muda, Temasya, Bukit Raja and Bandar Botanik would be revived at a cost of RM4.7 billion.

An industry source familiar with the public rail system told The Edge that some of the civil works for the five stations had already been completed, describing the budget of RM4.7 billion as "ridiculously high."

LRT3 project now 89% complete

As of September 2023, the development progress of the LRT3 project has reached 89%, according to Loke.

He stated that the reconstruction of the five stations would not impact commencement of LRT3 operations.

Prasarana Malaysia Bhd proposed commencement of operations be separated into two phases, with the entire 37.8km line and 20 existing stations kickstarting operations on March 1, 2025 under phase one,  Loke said.

"For phase two, operations of the five additional stations is expected to begin two years after the opening of phase one, which will be in the second quarter of 2027," he said.

Loke also stated that an assessment of station operations during the construction of the five stations would be carried out to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers and compliance with the timeline with regards to construction work.

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