Ramasamy said Liow has failed with meet up with the Penang delegation despite several requests from him to discuss the land acquisition. — Bernama picGEORGE TOWN, Feb 13 — Penang’s three paired roads project has hit a snag after the Transport Ministry refused to negotiate and resolve land issues related to the project.
Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P.Ramasamy said the state needed to acquire a piece of land belonging to the ministry in Bandar Jelutong for the project but the ministry had refused to discuss the acquisition.
He said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has failed with meet up with the Penang delegation despite several requests from him to discuss the land acquisition.
“The Penang state government has made many requests to the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to acquire Lot 135 in Bandar Jelutong for the road project,” he said in a press conference today.
He said the state is willing to compensate for the acquisition of the land or provide an alternative piece to the MOT.
“However, despite many efforts on the part of the relevant state agencies and the main contracting party, the MOT has refused to budge in terms of giving up the small piece of land to the state for the road project,” he said.
He claimed other federal ministries have been willing to negotiate with the state government on other lands but MOT was the only ministry that seemed reluctant to cooperate.
“This stumbling block, I think, is Liow himself who apparently has a powerful axe to grind against the Penang state government for reasons best known to him,” he said.
Ramasamy claimed he had tried to contact the minister’s office many times to set an appointment but to no avail.
He said he had finally written a letter to Liow on December 15 last year and the minister’s special officer replied on February 5 this year to state that the land matter “would be taken up administratively with the office of the Penang state secretary”.
“I am not sure whether this reply is a genuine one or an administrative attempt to put the matter in abeyance,” he said.
He called on Liow to take a responsible and honest stand on this matter as the failure to acquire the land could hamper the three paired roads project.
The three paired roads project is part of the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.
It will be implemented in three packages which is to connect Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway to Air Itam and Gurney Drive to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.
Works on the three paired roads are supposed to be carried out in stages between this year up to 2025.