Sarawak govt approves ART Santubong line on top of Samarahan and Serian lines

Mazli (left) exchanging MoU documents with Chew (right), witnessed by Abdul Aziz (second left) and Lee (second right).

KUCHING, July 20: The Sarawak government has approved a new line to Santubong (Green Line) as part of its Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system in addition to the Samarahan Line (Blue Line) and the Serian Line (Red Line).

Looking at other long-term potential for the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS), Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that the government had recently approved Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd’s proposal for the ART alignment for Phase 1 of the KUTS Project, which will now include a new line towards the Santubong Peninsula.

The announcement was made on July 18 during a ceremony where Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd (Sarawak Metro) Chief Executive Officer Technologist Mazli Mustaffa handed over the Letter of Award for the contract of KUTS Project’s System Package 1 Contract to EPR Mobilus GR JV Sdn Bhd.

The handover was witnessed by Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin who represented Abang Johari at the function.

“And I am pleased to announce that although this new alignment will be about 20 kilometres longer than the one proposed earlier by Sarawak Metro, we have managed to keep the overall cost of the project to below RM6 billion, through Sarawak Metro’s ongoing value engineering initiative.

“I know that Sarawak Metro also continues to plan for future ART routes for Greater Kuching under the KUTS Project, as well as for other alignments that could potentially create significant socio-economic benefits for the people of Sarawak,” said the Premier.

Sarawak Metro, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) had achieved a new milestone following the award of the KUTS Project’s system Package 1 Contract on July 18.

In his welcoming speech, SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain described the awarding of the Letter of Award as not only the start of the development of the KUTS Project but the transformation of Sarawak’s public transportation system, as well.

“With this agreement signed between Sarawak Metro and EPR Mobilus GR JV Sdn Bhd, we are witnessing the start of the development of a totally new environmentally-friendly mode of public transport, namely our hydrogen fuel cell-powered ART,” Abdul Aziz said.

He explained that the KUTS Project has been moving on the right track, and pointed out that 18 July also marked another milestone with the closing of the System Package 2 tender, which involved telecommunications, supervisory control and data acquisition, automatic fare collection, computerised maintenance management system, operation control centre and information technology system.

“We look forward to sharing more good news on the development of our KUTS Project in the next few weeks and months but in the meantime, rest assured that the team at Sarawak Metro are working tirelessly to deliver this project successfully,” Abdul Aziz said.

At the same event, Sarawak Metro also exchanged MoU documents with Ibraco Bhd and Peranan Makmur Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Naim Holdings Bhd, towards collaborations to develop ART stations near their property developments, namely The NorthBank and Kuching Paragon, respectively.

Mazli represented Sarawak Metro in the exchange of MoU documents, with Ibraco represented by its group managing director Datuk Chew Chiaw Han and Peranan Makmur represented by its director Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai.

Among those present at the event were the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching His Excellency, Xing Weiping, Sarawak Metro board members and business associates. — DayakDaily