BEIJING, Sept 18 — The land acquisition process for the 665-kilometre-long East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is now 93 per cent completed, said Railway Business Unit of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) general manager Zhang Wenfeng.
He said the seven per cent uncompleted part involved Section C of the rail alignment, which is in Selangor.
“The seven per cent is not a big amount, however, if there is a delay (in land acquisition), it will affect the completion time. Otherwise, the project can be completed on time,” he told Malaysian reporters in a special interview recently.
CHEC is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), the main contractor of the ECRL project.
Zhang said the construction of the project has achieved 50.29 per cent progress till the middle of last month and is on track to be completed by the end of 2027.
“The project is divided into three sections, A, B and C. We have finished most of the civil work in sections A and B, roughly this project is half finished,” he added.
He said the project is expected to provide up to 18,000 job opportunities for the local people.
The implementation of the project will also see more than 5,000 technicians trained in railway construction and operation, he added.
Zhang said they have also implemented environmental protection, including changing the design of the alignment and adopting advanced tunnel boring machine equipment to replace the traditional mining methods such as blasting and excavation for tunnel construction to minimise the impact of the project on the environment.
He said the project could stimulate economic development and is very crucial to improving connectivity between Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast and the west coast states.
The project, which is also a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Malaysia, will also strengthen bilateral relations between both countries.
ECRL is a proposed railway infrastructure project designed to improve connectivity between Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast states (Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang) and the west coast states (Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, and the Federal Territory of Putrajaya), which is currently only partially connected by rail.