Wednesday, February 21, 2018

‘ECRL project will take environs into consideration’

‘ECRL project will take environs into consideration’

There will be adequate environmental protection in the construction of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) rail line, said Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

Its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak said the ECRL project team has been working closely with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (NRE) for over a year to improve the project alignment and design to minimise its impact on the environment and wildlife.

“It is important for the development of ECRL to be implemented with the environment in mind.

“We firmly believe that development and the environment must go hand-in-hand.

“A Wildlife Management Plan has also been formulated through MRL’s collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan),” he said in a statement yesterday.

Darwis said a special steering committee, chaired by the NRE’s deputy secretary-general, has also been set up to ensure that all matters related to natural resources and environment regarding the project will be addressed.

The ECRL project, said Darwis, is said to be among the “most challenging engineering and construction” projects in Malaysia as the 688km rail line is not on a flat terrain but cuts across the hilly terrain of the Titiwangsa Range and dense forest.

“As the ECRL traverses through various forests and wildlife habitats, it is crucial to explore the means to ensure the development incurs minimal damage.

“We are pleased to say that the scrutiny in protecting the environment has resulted in a more environmentally-friendly design and measures to ensure the welfare of the wildlife,” said Darwis.

The MRL, together with main contractor China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), will be implementing various environmentally-friendly initiatives, he added.

The ECRL project team and the NRE have also made design improvements to reduce the loss of forests.

The original design, said Darwis, could have involved the loss of over 2,000ha of forest reserves but modifications to the alignment and provisions of 45 tunnels with a total length of about 49km have managed to reduce the loss of forests by 90%.

Wildlife underpasses will also be built at 29 strategic locations so that wildlife can move freely despite the railway line passing through.

~News courtesy of The Star~

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