Wednesday May 21, 2008 MYT 1:11:27 PM THESTAR
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
PUTRAJAYA: There is fresh hope for the long-overdue monorail project at the federal administrative capital to be revived.
The Government has directed Putrajaya Corporation to engage a consultant to look at the project's "financial model" to determine its feasibility.
Its president Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said the consultant, engaged recently, would also later make recommendations whether to go ahead or scrap the project.
"We have given the local-based consultant three months to work on this. Providing efficient public transport is a challenge to Putrajaya Corporation. With the monorail in place, we will have no problem in providing good transport facilities to the public," he said.
Samsudin was speaking to reporters Wednesday after exchanging documents between Putrajaya Corporation and the Indonesian Government over the purchase of 1.2ha land worth RM35mil at the diplomatic precinct. The land at Precinct 4 is meant for the construction of a new Indonesian Embassy here, replacing the existing facility located along Jalan Tun Razak.
The Government in 2004 announced that the RM400mil monorail project for Putrajaya would be shelved, citing lack of funds. The plan was to have monorail lines with a total length of 20km, divided into 13.2km for Line 1 and 6.8km for Line 2.
A total of 26 stations were planned, including stops at the Putra Mosque, Education Ministry, Putrajaya Hospital, the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Alamanda, Precinct 9 and Precinct 14.
Samsudin said he had repeatedly urged the Government to reconsider the project to provide world-class public transportation at the federal administrative capital, especially with foreign missions and an international school to open its doors here.
"I have always been optimistic that the monorail will occupy the tracks in Putrajaya. It is only a matter of time," he said.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Embassy's Charge d' Affairs Tatang Budiutama Razak said the future embassy premises would help ease the congestion at its existing premises, particularly when it has to serve at least two million of its citizens working here.
"This figure does not include another two million Indonesian tourists, 200,000 permanent residents, 5,000 expatriates and 30,000 students here. You can imagine how busy our embassy is. In fact, this is the largest and busiest embassy we have," he said.
Tatang said the new premises would also house Indonesian cultural and trade centres while the current complex would later provide "public services", such as immigration matters.