GEORGE TOWN, Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd (PIC) will reduce the drilling depth and weight of explosives to control the impact of the blast at location CH1875, the main scope of work for the Package Two highway that links Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway to Ayer Itam. PIC chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said these were among the improvement measures to be taken by the contractor to prevent damage caused by rock blasting work to the Jay Series condominium area, in Island Park, here from recurring. It is also to ensure safety measures such as soil cover layers, iron mesh, geotextile and sandbags covering a larger and more comprehensive area from 1.8m to 2.4m from the blast hole to accommodate possible rock cavity issues and unforeseen conditions. 'The contractor will also add soil load on top and the sides with additional steel plates and kentledge blocks as additional safety protection to reduce blast impact,' he said at a media briefing at the Chief Minister's Office in Komtar to day. Yesterday, the media reported that two condominiums in Island Park located near the site of the highway construction project suffered damages after being hit by rock and soil debris from blasting work. Farizan said the damage involving the Jay Series condominium area was from flying soil chunks resulting from controlled rock blasting work carried out at the project hillside area at location CH1875 yesterday. He said the 600th rock blasting work is among the main scope of work for the project, and there are still 200 blasts to be carried out. Farizan said the work was carried out according to the prescribed procedures and usually, there were no incidents of large quantities of rock and soil flying and involving a long distance, which was about 100m from the blast site. 'Several findings were made based on the evidence obtained at the scene, including the presence of rock chunks with fault lines. Heavy rainfall that occurred on the night before the incident caused the soil condition to change into chu nky particles, further contributing to damage to facilities including residents' cars at the condominium,' he said. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow apologised to the affected residents over the incident and directed the contractor to restore all damages incurred. He hoped the project team would enhance safety measures and precautions, especially during rock blasting work, to prevent such incidents from recurring. The project is one of several under the Major Roads and Third Link Components (PMRT) and the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), which commenced in 2021 for Section 1 and 2022 for Sections 2 to 6. Source: BERNAMA News Agency