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CEO: MRT work to be more intense in next 2 years

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 20): Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) said construction works for MRT Line 1 will be more intense in the upcoming twenty-four months to meet the tentative deadline of July 2017, and the overall cost will be contained within RM23 billion.

Chief executive officer of MRT Corp Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid said to date, a total value of RM20.31 billion worth of contracts have been awarded. 54 out of 85 works packages have been awarded, 12 have been called and in progress of awarding and the remaining 19 have yet to be called.

"We are making sure the way the contractors handle their work will not put us in the position where we have to debate and discuss about putting in more money into the project," he told the press today (Thursday).

"We are conscious with the fact that money is scarce, thus it has to be well spent."

Aside from the project's costing, Azhar also said the company is confident MRT Line 1 will be completed by July 2017, despite the complaints and protests from certain members of the public on the construction.

"Currently, I think we're looking at only three percent of overall progress for the project. The first phase of Line 1 — that is, the stretch from Sg Buloh to Damansara — is due for delivery by December 2016. The alignment right through Kajang, meanwhile, is due for delivery of operations by July 2017," he said.

The construction progress is moving according to schedule, he said, as all the contractors are working on their separate packages to complete the 51 km rail simultaneously.

Moving on, Azhar said the construction progress will intensify in 2013 and 2014.

The tunnel boring activities will commence in May, for the 9.5km stretch between Cochrane and Pasar Rakyat stations.

As far as the legal action that residents of Pinggir Zaaba in Taman Tun Dr Ismail plan to take, he said they have the right to exercise their rights to do so, though the company has been trying to avoid the situation.

"We try to engage with the residents. We are trying our best, yet some of them are still not happy. As far as we are concerned, we are going to continue developing and managing this public project," said Azhar.

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