GEORGE TOWN: A small group of people from residents' associations, environmental activists and non-governmental organisations gathered outside the Penang State Legislative Assembly today to protest against the proposed Pan Island Link (PIL 1) connecting Gurney Drive to the airport and the Second Penang Bridge.
About 30 of them held placards and banners in the peaceful protest to urge the state government to review the plan as it would affect the environment.
Earlier the group was booted out from the Penang State Legislative Assembly compound by the security after they blocked traffic at the entrance of the building.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Penang Forum member Salma Khoo Nasution said the proposed elevated highway would affect the environment.
"What the state should do now is improve public transportation and not build more roads and highways," she told reporters.
Also present was former Gerakan Penang exco member Datuk Kee Phaik Cheen, former DAP Tanjung Bungah assemblyman,Teh Yee Cheu, Penang Forum member Dr Kim May Hui and also Tanjung Bungah Residents' Association (TBRA) chairman R. Meenakshi.
The proposed highway is part of PTMP that will alleviate the heavy traffic load at Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Pengkalan Weld, Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jelutong and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (Padang Kota - DAP) when answering a question from Jason Ong (Kebun Bunga -PKR), said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (Second schedule report) for the PIL 1 Highway project has been forwarded to the Department of Environment (DOE) for the consideration of approval.
He said in the EIA, three main components in the first phase of the PTMP implementation are Bayan Lepas Light Right Train, main roads and tunnel projects and also PIL.
"The EIA for main road projects received approval from DOE on Nov 7 last year, while the EIA approval for PIL 1 is currently ongoing," he said during the first day of the Penang State Legislate Assembly sitting .
He also said the state is currently waiting for DOE approval on the Bayan Lepas LRT project.