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MRT project on track [27-12-2012]  
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The first line of the Klang Valley mass rapid transit (MRT) system, the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, is expected to make solid progress next year, said Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) chief executive Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid.

It was reported that about 3% of construction works had been completed as at Dec 18.

“Land issues are mostly resolved. However, there are still a few more to be managed, and tunneling should start toward the second quarter of next year, as we expect tunnel boring machines to arrive in Malaysia in the next quarter.

“Ultimately, work is on track and the delivery date of MRT Line 1 remains at July 2017,” he told StarBiz.

Line 1, which connects Sungai Buloh to Kajang via a track that runs through the city centre, is made up of two phases.

The first phase is from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, while the second is from Kajang to Taman Maluri.

It is expected that the first phase would be operational by December 2016, and the second by June 2017.

MRT Corp has been awarding tenders for MRT Line 1 since the fourth quarter of last year. To date, it has awarded almost RM20bil worth of advance, civil and systems works.

There are about 20 more tender packages to be awarded, and in total, the balance of the award should not exceed RM3bil, bringing the construction cost of the MRT Line 1 to about RM23bil.

MRT Corp has awarded a total of 54 packages worth RM20bil out of 85 packages.

At RM23bil, the price tag for MRT Line 1 was still well within the budget set by the Government, partly supported by the reduction in land acquisition costs.

It was reported in July 2011, quoting the Land Public Transport Commission, that the estimated cost for the first line would be around RM20bil.

On the participation of bumiputra contractors, the value of contracts awarded to date against the total awarded stood at 45%.

Where land acquisition cost is concerned, it was reported that RM1.2bil had been paid out to landowners in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Lines 2 and 3 of the massive project are currently under the final planning and evaluation stage by the Land Public Transport Commission. The Government is expected to announce the alignment and station locations next year.

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