KUANTAN, Jan 22 — The progress of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project for Section B from Dungun, Terengganu to Mentakab, Pahang has advanced beyond its target after reaching 7.03 per cent in December last year compared to its original target of 5.11 per cent.
Pahang Works, Transportation and Health Committee chairman Datuk Seri Norolazali Sulaiman said the progress was underpinned by rapid construction works at 94 priority locations, with 58 of it were in Pahang while the remaining, in Terengganu.
“The primary focus of the construction works taking place along Section B’s 223-kilometre mainline includes the earthworks as well as the prefabricated vertical drain (PVD), culvert, tunnelling and bridge works.
“Excavation works for the 2.86-kilometre ‘Kuantan Tunnel’, which is part of Section B has reached approximately 950 metres or 33.5 per cent of the total length to date,” he told Bernama here, today.
Norolazali visited the ‘Kuantan Tunnel’ site last Tuesday.
Thus, Norolazali noted that Pahang government is pleased with the current progress of the ECRL project, and believed it would help to drive investments, spur commercial activities, increase job opportunities and boost tourism activities in the state, upon completion.
He also stated that the construction works are proceeding smoothly under strict standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the authorities such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry during the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO) in Pahang, which took effect today until Feb 4 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
For example, Norolazali said workers or contractors with COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to leave their job immediately and undergo swab tests.
“In line with the recommendations by the authorities, the workforce has been divided into groups. This practice will ensure the project will be able to continue working if one group is required to undergo quarantine,” he said.
Norolazali noted that flood-prone areas in Pahang involved the ECRL alignment have been identified under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) reports, and the designers for the rail infrastructure have also considered the ‘100-year flood’ level into their designs.
“Generally, all flood-prone areas where the ECRL is expected to traverse have been designed to have viaducts to facilitate smooth water flow especially during the monsoon season to reduce the risk of service disruptions due to heavy rain or flood,” he added.