GEORGE TOWN: It is too late for the Works Ministry to help review the cost of the studies for the proposed undersea tunnel and the three paired roads.
This is because the agreement was signed on May 9, 2013, and studies on the paired roads are completed while the tunnel study is 83% complete, said state exco member Lim Hock Seng.
â€œThe feasibility studies, detailed designs and environmental impact assessment of roads were completed in December 2014. There is no need to study what was agreed and paid to Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd,â€ Lim said in a statement yesterday.
Lim, who is the state Works committee chairman, was answering a volley of seven questions from Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan about the project in a Facebook posting yesterday.
Last Friday, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof offered Penang assistance to study and lower the cost of the feasibility studies.
Lim also extended an invitation to Abdul Rahman to view documents related to the roads and tunnel â€œto satisfy his heartâ€.
On why the studies costing RM305mil were not awarded in an open tender, Lim said the studies were part of the request for proposal under the original tender.
â€œIs the minister aware that there are Federal Government projects where the feasibility studies were done by the main contractor? Does he understand the turnkey method in project management?â€ Lim asked of Abdul Rahman, who is Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government Minister,
Lim also pointed out that studies on the three paired roads were costlier because they added up to 20.23km with 14 interchanges while the tunnel was 7.2km with two interchanges.
â€œPerhaps Abdul Rahman doesnâ€™t have the chance to read the Public Accounts Committee document or agreement on the project. Please come and read so that you can avoid making baseless remarks,â€ he added.