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The state government is seeking clarity on the role of SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd, the project delivery partner (PDP) for Penang's transport master plan (PTMP), now that the state’s light rail transit (LRT) project will be owned by the federal government via MRT Corp.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said it is imperative to decide on the direction of SRS Consortium given that the company had carried out some work.

"The state government has appointed SRS Consortium as the PDP (and it) did the (necessary) work (to enable) the project to be implemented. We are still waiting for the federal government and MRT Corp’s decision regarding the role of the company.

"If it is decided that SRS Consortium has a role (to play), they can continue to do the work even if ownership of the LRT changes from the state government to MRT Corp," he told Bernama.

Otherwise, MRT Corp would need to take over and resume the work carried out by SRS Consortium.

Considering that the LRT work packages are targeted to be tendered out by year-end, this issue has to be ironed out immediately, he said.

On the project’s financing model, Chow said it would be fully funded by MRT Corp.

He also said that the state government and MRT Corp have identified two potential sites for the LRT depot that are located near each other during the last meeting between the two parties.

"MRT Corp has identified a site that is suitable for the depot. It is a private property and we believe they are negotiating with the site owner. If the owner approves, we have no problem with the depot being built there.

"We also have a suggestion for a site that is near that location. So we are looking at these two options. We need to make a final decision and deal with the matter accordingly," he added.

The LRT depot was previously supposed to be built on a reclaimed island under the Penang South Island (PSI) project.

However, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said in May that both the federal and state governments have agreed to build the depot on the state’s existing land to expedite project implementation.

Loke said phase 1 of the project, initially planned from Penang International Airport to Komtar, would now be extended to Tanjung Bungah, covering 29km with 27 stations.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency