MRT Co to focus on implementation

KUALA LUMPUR: A Ministry of Finance Inc company, MRT Co, approved by the Cabinet yesterday, will assume project and asset ownership of the Klang Valley MY Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd effective Sept 1.

It will focus on ensuring the smooth implementation of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line. The government is expected to appoint a Malaysian as the CEO of MRT Co at a later date.
“The government is fully committed to the timely and cost-effective delivery of the Klang Valley MRT project, which will have tremendous spillover economic benefits,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in a statement issued yesterday by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).

“In handling a project of this size and complexity, undivided focus and clarity in terms of project governance is of utmost priority. Ideally, and as we have heard from the public many times, having an efficient transport system in the Klang Valley is extremely critical.

“The Cabinet felt that it was necessary to have a dedicated unit focused solely on ensuring that our country’s biggest-ever infrastructure is implemented with undivided attention to details, smoothly and effectively, while maintaining transparent governance throughout the process,” said Najib, who is also finance minister.

MRT Co will have a project management and technical group comprising experts in mass rail projects and will include expertise seconded from the current Prasarana MRT team.
The team’s scope of responsibility involves project monitoring and tracking of the construction of all elevated structures, stations, depots and underground works, including tunnelling and stations.

MRT Co will also be responsible for the commercial aspects of the project, covering contracts, procurement and dispute resolution as well as ensuring quality of delivery in terms of cost, scheduling and health, safety, security and environment requirements.

The project management and technical team will be led by Marcus Levon Karakashian, who has been involved in the implementation of major rail projects over the past 30 years.

Projects handled by Karakashian are Singapore MRT’s Downtown, North-East and East-West Lines and London’s Jubilee Line extension. He will report to MRT Co CEO. Other parties involved in the project are Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) as the supervising agency and MMC-Gamuda, the project delivery partner (PDP).
Upon completion of the project, the operator of the KVMRT will be RapidKL, a subsidiary of Prasarana.

“As such, Prasarana will continue to play a critical role in the project as its input and feedback during the construction phases will be beneficial to the eventual operations of the KVMRT,” it said.

As the government supervising agency for the KVMRT project, SPAD’s role is to fulfil its ultimate objective of providing Klang Valley residents with a comfortable, efficient and integrated public transport system.

The PDP’s role by MMC-Gamuda is a concept to enhance the project manager with built-in incentives and penalties designed to ensure that the interests of the PDP are aligned with the government during implementation of the project.

MMC-Gamuda also provides a single point of accountability to deliver the entire project within the specified time and cost targets or face financial penalties.
Among the immediate tasks for Prasarana will be to focus on improving the current LRT service and line expansion projects, expanding monorail capacity, improving existing bus services on high-demand and congested routes, and ultimately achieving profitability in the near future.

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