Save Mount Erskine - STOP the Underpass Tunnel Project & NO to the Assessment Hike!

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Cancel Mount Erskine Underpass Project, With Savings, Reduce Assessment Rate Increases

Public is most unhappy about MBPP’s & MPSP’s proposed assessment rate increase for 2020. However the focus should not only be on assessment rates but also on how The Council spends our money.

At a time when MBPP & MPSP is strapped for funds and raising property assessment rates, The Council should not waste money on projects that are of low-priority or unnecessary. One such project is the Mount Erskine underpass tunnel to Burmah Road.

This project should be cancelled on technical and financial grounds.

1.      This project is not a priority as traffic flow at this junction is good most of the time, except during morning and evening / school peak hours. Even then, the waiting time going to Burmah Road is less than 10 minutes.

2.      On the other hand, the project will create massive traffic nightmares for at least 2 years or more, during construction period, as all residents in the north will have only one road - Tanjong Tokong Road - to travel to town and back. This “solution” is akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. Even after completion, the traffic nightmares will continue and in fact become worse for Tanjong Tokong Road, Mount Erskine Road and Burmah Road.

3.      The cost of this project has more than doubled to RM55 million and possibly will rise even further due to unnecessary and unjust forced land acquisition. Why pay out millions of ringgit at the expense of all rate payers in Penang for unwarranted projects? Especially when there are simpler cost-effective solutions at hand, that will not destroy the surrounding above-ground community?

4.      The Council is expected to raise more than RM50 million from its proposed assessment rate increases. By cancelling this project The Council can save RM55 million and reduce or dispense with its proposed assessment rate increase to benefit all rate payers.

As a humongous and ugly 6-lane PIL 1 elevated highway is also planned to run above Bagan Jermal Road and Gottlieb Road passing over the proposed Mt. Erskine underpass we can expect even more forced land acquisition and destructive road widening.   Will the Council eventually increase property assessment rates again to finance their many unnecessary projects, and expect the poor rate payers to shoulder the hikes?

If the Underpass Tunnel Project proceeds, residents in the affected area will lose their freehold lands, homes and livelihood.  The environmental and social impact will be damaging and irreversible.

Do not waste our ratepayers’ money on bad solutions to self-made traffic congestion! What is needed is better management of the traffic light system and strict enforcement against congestion caused during school opening and closing hours which will cost next to nothing.