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5 March 2007

Taiping-Banting highway plan revived

ALOR STAR: The RM3.1bil West Coast Highway project linking Taiping and Banting, which had been postponed for 10 years, will be implemented by Konsortium LPB Sdn Bhd, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

He said the Cabinet had given the go-ahead for work on the 215.8km expressway project to start.

Konsortium LPB is 64% owned by Kumpulan Europlus.

“The RM3.1bil project will take about seven years to complete.

“It will be the third longest highway after the 966km North-South Expressway and 330km East Coast Highway,” he said, adding that once it was completed 1.2 million vehicles could use the new highway each day.

He was speaking to reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of the Alor Star-Durian Buring road upgrading project here.

The RM246mil project is expected to be completed in 2009.

Earlier in the day, when visiting the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital project, Samy Vellu told reporters that the RM557mil hospital would be handed over to the Health Ministry on March 15.

The hospital project, which started in August 2000, was to have been completed in 2003.

The delay attracted royal concern with Sultan of Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah expressing his disappointment over the delay in his speech during his 79th birthday celebration recently.

Samy Vellu said the hospital would have 730 beds with 23 normal wards and 11 intensive care units.

-- The Star --