Thursday, 12 January 2017

(The Star) ‘It’s only 33, not 300 buses’

The Penang government has denied that between 200 and 300 buses would be needed to ferry workers when the purpose-built dormitory being constructed in Bukit Minyak is ready.
State Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said only about 33 buses would be needed for the workers to commute to work and back.
He said the operator of the dormitories — Westlite Dormitories Sdn Bhd — had explained that 23 buses were all that are needed in the day and 10 buses at night.
Two dormitories were being built on the mainland to house workers — Bukit Minyak (4.4 acres/1.8ha) and Juru (6.6 acres/2.7ha) — and will be operated by Westlite.
Westlite will provide buses for the workers staying in the dormitories to go to work and back.
Several vernacular news dailies had highlighted residents’ concerns that between 200 and 300 buses would be used to ferry workers when the dormitory in Bukit Minyak is operational.
Jagdeep said the number of buses reportedly needed for the workers staying at the Bukit Minyak dormitory “is not true.”
He added that Bukit Tambun assemblyman Datuk Law Choo Kiang and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto were also present during his meeting with Westlite on Monday.
“The projects cost RM15mil and can accommodate about 12,000 local and foreign workers when completed in 2018,” he told a press conference at Komtar on Tuesday.
“The Westlite Bukit Minyak project is in its final stage of earthworks and piling works should start in February but the Westlite Juru project is still on hold by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council.”
The dormitories are being built near housing estates and Jagdeep said residents need not worry as the workers would be able to keep themselves occupied through the facilities provided at the dormitories.
“The facilities include multi-purpose hall, rest areas, television and reading rooms, laundry and convenience stores, ATM machines, postal boxes and sick bays,” he said.
He added that a traffic impact assessment report showed that the dormitory would have no adverse impact on traffic in Bukit Minyak and that Westlite would address flood issues allegedly caused by the ongoing dormitory project.

Also present at the press conference were Westlite assistant general manager Johnny Chan and group project development manager Magendran Ramaiah.