Kota Bharu, May 13: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim launched the construction of the first East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) station – ECRL Kota Bharu Station, in line with the peak construction period for this national infrastructure scheduled for this year.
The ECRL Kota Bharu Station is located on a 50.41-acre site in Bandar Baru Tunjong.
Its architectural design draws inspiration from Kelantan’s Traditional Malay House (Rumah Meleh Melayu) and arrowleaf sida (Bunga Ketam Guri), perfectly showcasing the unique cultural characteristics of Kelantan.
The Kota Bharu ECRL station, which is built for passenger use, will feature an elevated platform as well as equipped with a range of facilities including carpark, pick-up and drop-off areas, covered walkways, staff quarters, and garden-landscaped areas.
Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, said the construction of the ECRL Kota Bharu Station signalled the progress of this national infrastructure project to be at a commendable level and according to schedule.
“The construction of the ECRL Kota Bharu Station will pave the way for infrastructure works at other stations along the ECRL alignment to be carried out at the soonest, hence enabling the completion of the rail link to be on track for December 2026,” he said with in conjunction with the ‘launching ceremony for the construction of the first ECRL station’ officiated by the Prime Minister on Friday.
This significant ceremony was also attended by Kelantan Chief Minister Datuk Ahmad Yakob, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook, Chief Executive Officer of MRL Datuk Sri Darwis Abdul Razak and Board Executive Director of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) Liu Hui.
Zuki also said that the 665 kilometer long ECRL network will have a total of 20 stations, consisting of 10 passenger stations and 10 combined passenger and freight stations.
This initiative will enable the ECRL to connect state capitals, towns, industrial hubs, ports, and tourism zones in the East Coast states with the Klang Valley more effectively and at an environmentally friendly mode.
“We are thrilled to mark the beginning of a new phase in the construction of the ECRL with the commencement of work on the first station in Kota Bharu,” CCCC Board Executive Director Liu Hui said.
“Moving from foundation to above-ground construction signifies an exciting step forward in the project’s progress. We are proud to contribute to the creation of safe, reliable, and efficient transportation options for travellers, both near and afar.”
“With our team’s extensive experience from similar projects around the world, we are confident and committed to deliver exceptional workmanship for the ECRL project,” he added.
The launching ceremony today also included the presentation of the ‘Sustainable INFRASTAR’ certificate with a 5 Star rating by the Construction Research Institute of Malaysia – CREAM (subsidiary of CIDB Malaysia) to MRL and CCCC in recognition of the ECRL design as a sustainable infrastructure that has also adopted best environmental and social considerations.
Meanwhile, today’s launching ceremony also witnessed the exchange of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) document between MRL, CCCC and three educational institutions for the ECRL Industrial Skills Training Program (PLKI-ECRL). The institutions involved were Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT).
The MoU document was aimed at leveraging the services and expertise of the educational institutions in the implementation of the PLKI-ECRL programme, while fostering collaboration to provide comprehensive training and education.
Furthermore, the cooperation isset to foster cordial relations among the programme’s participants.
The PLKI-ECRL programme will also offer opportunities for up to 3,200 local trainers to participate in the operation phase of ECRL.
An exchange of MoU document was also carried out between MRL and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) during today’s launching ceremony, signifying their commitment to strengthen and promote industrial cooperation, training as well as research, knowledge sharing and human resources development.
The ECRL Project which will traverse four states namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and Selangor, has recorded an overall progress of 43 per cent as of April 2023.
With more than 1,200 construction sites along the alignment, the year 2023 is also that of peak construction for the ECRL Project, driven by tunnelling works, beam launching works for bridges, subgrade alignment works, and the construction of stations, which also followed by the laying of railway tracks.
MRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance (Incorporated), is the project owner and ECRL assets while CCCC’s subsidiary CCC-ECRL is the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor for the project.
The 665-kilometer ECRL network will start from Kota Bharu and end at Port Klang.
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