Putrajaya Monorail back on track?

PUTRAJAYA: The Putrajaya Monorail project could be back on track as a leading conglomerate has tabled a proposal to the Economic Council (EC) to revive it.

Industry insiders told theSun MMC Corporation Berhad (MMC) was keen to undertake the project, which was shelved in 2004 due to federal budget constraints.

If approved, it is expected to be completed by 2021, in time to complement the completion of MRT 2 (Sg Buloh-Putrajaya) the same year.

Sources said the MMC proposal to revive the project is realistic and in line with the vision for efficient connectivity in the federal administrative capital with three other rail lines – MRT 2, ERL and KL-Singapore High Speed Rail – with Putrajaya as one of the transit points.

"For a start, the monorail station at Putrajaya Sentral will integrate with the first station of MRT 2, with seamless connection via an 84m skybridge," the source said.

After the MRT 2 groundbreaking ceremony last week, MMC group managing director Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh had briefed government officials, MRT Corp and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) executives on MMC's ideas for the monorail project.

However, it has not been revealed if the latest attempt to develop the Putrajaya monorail is a solo effort by MMC or a joint venture with other project delivery partners, as in the MRT 1 (Sg Buloh-Kajang) project.

"Funding could be sourced via private financing or adopting a public-private partnership model," said the source, adding that the project was under the purview of the Economic Planning Unit and other agencies.

In the original plan, phase one the project was estimated to cost RM400 million for two lines – a 13.6km track with 18 stops (first line) and a 6.8km line to serve seven stations (second line).

A 4km underground track and 9km above ground had been completed before it was shelved.

When contacted, SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar confirmed MMC has submitted a proposal to the EC to revive the project.

Syed Hamid said the government has instructed SPAD to conduct a feasibility study for monorail and tram services for Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

Earlier this year, the Federal Territories Ministry had proposed a tram service in the garden city by 2019.

SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said the study is under way and will be completed by December.

Attempts to obtain official comments from MMC were unsuccessful at press time.