Dr M: Build MRT lines simultaneously
LINE 2 and 3 of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) system should start simultaneously with the ongoing Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line, says former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"We should do it simultaneously and not wait until one line is completed. It also depends on the demand for the MRT.
"I am sure this underground network will be well accepted," he said after visiting the MMC-Gamuda MRT construction site in Cheras, here, yesterday.
Construction of the SBK Line started in 2011. Line 2 and 3 consist of the Circle Line looping around the Kuala Lumpur city centre and the north-south line from Selayang to Putrajaya.
Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid has said a delay in starting Line 2 and 3 will result in rising costs.
All three lines are estimated to cost around RM80 billion. The overall cost of the project, however, will only be finalised once all the contracts have been awarded.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia needs to have a complete rail network, including the high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, to move people and goods.
He said the current priority is to complete the electrified double-tracking project (EDTP) from Padang Besar to Johor Baru.
The government has awarded contracts for the EDTP stretch between Ipoh and Padang Besar worth RM12.5 billion to the MMC-Gamuda joint venture and the Seremban-Gemas worth RM3.45 billion to India's Ircon International Ltd.
Both the projects are ongoing.
The Rawang-Ipoh strecth was completed in 2008 while the link between Gemas and Johor Baru, which is estimated to cost more than RM10 billion, has yet to be awarded.