GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has green lighted the alignment for the mass rail system and highway schemes under the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project. The railway scheme meanwhile covers both the island and mainland with one Light Rail Transit (LRT) and two monorail lines on the island, a LRT line across the Penang Channel, and a Bus Transit System (BTS). State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the next step was for SRS Consortium, the PTMP project delivery partner (PDP), to get approval from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and other federal regulators. He said the priority was for the rail line to link Komtar, the state's administrative centre, to the Penang International Airport which fell under Phase One of the massive initiative. "SRS will consult with SPAD for guidance and advice concerning the proposal for a rail system in Penang," he said in a press conference today. Chow also noted the priority project for the highway schemes was the Pan Island Link which will connect Gurney Drive and Bayan Lepas. He said moving forward was for SRS to conduct the Detailed Environment Impact Assessment (DEIA). "Studies and approvals will be conducted in stages as a lot of engagement is needed to implement the PTMP," he added. SRS project director Szeto Wong meanwhile said the consortium will engage with the public and inform them of the alignments of the projects. He said the consortium will be working on a preliminary detailed design for Phase One of the rail line for submission to SPAD which will take about six months. He said the DEIA for the Pan Island Link will take about six months to complete prior to submission to the Department of Ennvironment (DOE) for approval. The project is proposed to be funded by allowing the reclamation of a 930ha plot and a 445ha plot off the coast in Permatang Damar Laut.