Govt to review RM5.9b upgrade of KTMB tracks

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KUALA LUMPUR — The second phase of the construction of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) to improve KTM Berhad (KTMB) tracks will be reviewed, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said yesterday.

He said the RM5.9 billion project that was awarded through direct negotiations was exorbitantly excessive.

“The cost of the second phase of the rehabilitation programme is too much and it is supposed to take seven years to complete.

“We cannot stomach that,” he told a news conference after meeting KTMB top management over the train operator’s performance and ongoing projects at KL Sentral yesterday.

Also present were the ministry’s deputy secretary-general Datuk Chua Kok Ching and KTMB chief executive officer Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin.

As for the first phase of the KVDT, Loke said the RM1.4 billion project that entails 40km was supposed to be completed by August, 2019 but will now delayed until November next year.

Because of this, he said, KTMB users will experience delays from 15 to 30 minutes or longer during peak hours; and 30 minutes to one hour or longer during off peak hours.

During this period, 19 transit buses will be deployed for passengers in some stations.

“We are adopting this honest approach to admit that there are delays rather than to cover up the fact.

“I urge passengers to plan their travel time appropriately and use alternative travel modes to get to their destinations,” he said.

The first phase KVDT project covers upgrading works involving some 42km of tracks between Rawang and Salak Selatan as well as Sentul and Simpang Batu.

This upgrading project will focus on enhancing 16 stations along these routes and upgrade the existing signalling and electrification system.

Loke said the second phase will cover 110km of tracks between Simpang Batu and Kuala Lumpur.

More information on the latest train schedule is available at http://www.ktmb.com.my