TRANSIT is surprised to learn on the NST’s front page coverage of Prasarana in the past few days. We are talking about massive involvement of taxpayers’ money on projects with undoubtedly similar progression and implementation pattern that we’ve seen with the STAR, PUTRA and KL Monorail lines. With Prasarana’s bonds guaranteed by the government, it is surprising to learn on the lack of scrutiny on the effectiveness of the transit projects’ undertaking.
RM1.6b LRT job (NST)
KUALA LUMPUR: Contracts worth a total of RM1.6 billion have been awarded to the two successful main contractors to undertake the first phase of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang light rapid transit (LRT) line extension projects. In a statement yesterday, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd confirmed the New Straits Times report that Trans Resources Corporation Sdn Bhd and Bina Puri Holdings Berhad (BPHB)-Tim Sekata JV had been chosen to carry out Package A (construction and completion of facilities work) of the extension projects.
Prasarana said that Trans Resources, the construction arm of public-listed TRC Synergy Bhd, would undertake the Kelana Jaya extension project under a contract worth RM950 million over 30 months.
Meanwhile, BPHB-Tim Sekata JV will undertake the Ampang Line extension project for RM634.7 million over 27 months.
Both main contractors will be responsible for carrying out works on four facilities — namely, all guideway sub-structure and main structure works; foundation work for stations and traction power sub-stations (TPSS); launching and installing the segmental box girders (SBGs); and supplying and installing parapets and noise barriers.
In addition, the main contractors will also manage the nominated sub-contractors for contracts worth RM469 million (Kelana Jaya line) and RM305 million (Ampang line) respectively.
The nominated sub-contractors, which will be appointed through a separate open tender, will construct stations and TPSS; supply and install escalators and lifts; and construct multi-storey car parks.
Prasarana has also named UEM Builders-Intria Bina Sdn Bhd JV and BPHB-Tim Sekata JV as sub-contractor of the segmental box girders (SBGs) fabrication and delivery for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang extensions.
Contracts for the SBGs were worth RM93.1 million for UEM Builders-Intria Bina and RM67.7 million for BPHB-Tim Sekata JV. The SBGs are expected to be delivered within 21 months. Prasarana also said the tender for facilities works under Package B for both lines would be called upon the approval of the final railway scheme, expected by the middle of next year.
The New Straits Times reported yesterday that under Package A, Trans Resources would construct the section between Kelana Jaya station to Station 7 (near Summit Shopping Centre), a distance of 9.2km. BPHB-Tim Sekata JV will carry out works between the first 7.4km between Seri Petaling to Station 5 (Jalan Kinrara).
The line extension project will see a 17km extension of the Kelana Jaya line between Kelana Jaya station and Putra Heights in Puchong (13 new stations) and a 17.7km extension of the Ampang line between Sri Petaling to Putra Heights with 13 new stations. Putra Heights will be an interchange station connecting both lines.
The Kelana Jaya extension will increase passenger capacity up to 98,000 during peak hours, while extension of the Ampang line can cater to 79,800 passengers.
There you have it – project is ready, contractors have been announced and they are waiting for final approval.
On the right track
: Prasarana to be named operator of RM36b mass rapid transit project (NST)
KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd is expected to be named as the asset owner and operator of what could be the nation’s single largest land transport infrastructure project — the proposed RM36 billion mass rapid transit (MRT) system for Greater Kuala Lumpur.MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd, which submitted the MRT proposal to the National Economic Council last February, will be the project manager, or what analysts here have termed “chariot master”.
Prasarana is a wholly-owned government company established by the Finance Ministry to facilitate, undertake and expedite public infrastructure projects approved by the government. It is also currently the asset owner and operator of the Ampang and Kelana Jaya light rail transit lines, KL Monorail system, bus operations in Klang Valley and Penang, as well as the cable car services in Langkawi. [TRANSIT: Not exactly – while Prasarana has taken over control of RapidKL, the other services are operated by subsidiary companies.]
MMC-Gamuda JV is currently undertaking the RM12.5 billion electrified double-tracking railway project between Ipoh and Padang Besar, Perlis.
It is also understood that Minconsult Sdn Bhd, the consultant appointed by the government to undertake a 12-week study on the proposed project, had made its recommendations to the government. The National Economic Council, chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is expected to meet this week to endorse the recommendations.
TRANSIT: We like public transport as much as anyone, but is a 12-weeks study realistically enough time to examine all the factors associated with the construction of an MRT line with above ground and underground components?
Sources said Prasarana might form a subsidiary company to handle the MRT system, similar to the role of Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (RapidKL), which is managing the Ampang Line, Kelana Jaya Line, Monorail and bus services in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
TRANSIT: Wrong – RapidKL is not managing the monorail services, and bus services in Penang are managed by RapidPenang Sdn. Bhd.
The ground-breaking for the project is said to be targeted for July next year. Under the 10th Malaysia Plan, an MRT project for the Klang Valley has been proposed to improve the city’s public transport. The MRT project is also in line with the government’s target of increasing public transport use to 25 per cent by 2012 from 16 per cent now. It has been reported that the MRT system would have up to three main lines.
The first line will run through Sungai Buloh, Kota Damansara, Kuala Lumpur and Cheras (right up to Kajang). The second line will connect Sungai Buloh, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and Serdang, while the third line will loop around Kuala Lumpur’s business district, with a link between the monorail and LRT services.
The MRT lines will mostly be underground, with stops every 500m to 1km in high-traffic areas, such as the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur. Conceptually, it would be similar to Hong Kong’s MTR system.
There you have it (again) – the government is ready to go ahead with the MRT proposal and put everything in the hands of Prasarana – a government owned company that owns and manages transport assets, with subsidiary government-owned companies that operate these public transport assets.
We really have to wonder – why doesn’t the government admit that it controls a hugely significant portion of public transport in Malaysia (and Malaysia’s biggest cities) and just get rid of the illusion of competition that is not doing anyone any good?
Imagine how well public transport services could be run if RapidKL had access to the entire fleet of Metrobus, Permata Kiara, SJ Bas and the Selangor Omnibus Company (among others) – or if these routes were restricted to premium intra-city services, allowing RapidKL to handle the Klang Valley’s stage bus and shuttle bus routes!
But if the government is not willing to admit that there really is no competition in public transport, perhaps they can let the companies stay in business but take over their permits and realign the bus services to support the existing rapidKL network, contracting the other bus companies to run premium intra-city bus services and….
Oh wait, we said that already.