Initially put on hold, Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project may be able to resume as early as next month if approvals from relevant authorities are obtained.
This comes after Malaysia Rail Link and China Communications Construction Company signed a supplementary agreement last Friday that will pave the way for the project to continue.
Darwis Abdul Razak, chief executive officer of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd, the project owner, said if all goes well, work on the suspended project could start immediately, New Straits Times reported.
“We are looking at a one month window to restart the project. It’s highly likely to be next month," he told reporters after a press conference on the ECRL project by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The project was suspended for 10 months after its main contractor, China Communications Construction Ltd, received a notice to suspend all work on July 4 last year.
Under the new deal, the project will proceed at a lower cost of RM44 billion, almost one-third cheaper than the original proposed figure of RM65.5 billion.
The project will be going ahead with changes to the original route that will avoid creating a 18km tunnel to cut into the Titiwangsa range. The total length of the network reduced to 640km from 688km.
The route will now cut through five states instead of four, stretching from Kota Baru-Mentakab-Jelebu-Kuala Klawang-Bangi/Kajang-Putrajaya-Port Klang. The initial stop at Gombak in Selangor has been cancelled.