KUALA LUMPUR: There is a slight (19.8%) delay in the completion of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang light rail transit (LRT) line extension projects but they are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the delay was brought about by technical problems in the construction.
They included difficulty in locating the cables and underground pipes and shifting them before placing the supporting structures of the LRT line.
He said the supporting structures’ design had to be changed in accordance with the soil and geology of the construction area and this also contributed to the delay in the completion of the project.
“Therefore, the project was delayed to overcome the technical problems as the safety of the people is of utmost importance,” said Najib in a written reply to Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) in the Dewan Rakyat.
The prime minister said the main construction work currently being carried out was piling and the construction of LRT stations and guideways.
Despite the delay, he said, there was no additional cost incurred and the current cost of RM8 billion remains.
“For now, there is no increase in the cost of the project as the packages for the construction work was done with integrity via open tender.”
The Kelana Jaya LRT line extension project has seen objections from Putra Heights and Subang Alam residents due to safety concerns. The residents had set up the Subang Alam-Putra Heights LRT task force to oppose the project.
According to a 2011 study by UKM professor Dr Tajul Anuar Jamaluddin, whose opinion was sought by the residents, the area was found to be unsuitable as the ground was largely made up of clay and cracked granite, which would be precarious and make it expensive to lay rail tracks.
The line will also pass by an artificial lake and an electric transmission line, posing danger to nearby houses.
The Kelana Jaya line will extend 17km while the Ampang line will extend 17.7km to end at Putra Heights. Both lines will have 20 stations.
For more stories, go to www.fz.com, the website for freedom of expression and fairness in articulation.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 01, 2013.
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