The RM500 million Melaka Aerorail Transit System, which is set to boost the state's tourism industry, is expected to kick off in the second quarter of 2010.
The Aerorail system in Melaka will be built, operated and managed by Pyramid Express Sdn Bhd, with the help of Aerobus International from Houston, United States.
Pyramid Managing Director Datuk Lim Sue Beng said the company would roll out the first phase of the Aerorail Transit System after several amendments are made to the original plan.
"We are in the midst of amending the plan which received initial objection from the public. We hope to re-submit the amended plan to the Melaka City Council by year-end," he told Bernama in a telephone interview Thursday.
The development plan includes the construction of structures, stations, the Aerorail depot, hotel, service apartments and others.
Lim said under the first phase, which is expected to be completed in three years, a route covering 6.8 kilometres in length, seven stations and a depot would be constructed.
"The second phase of the project, covering 7.5 kilometres in length and costing RM1 billion, is expected to begin in 2013. At every station, there will be mixed development of RM1.5 billion including hotel and service apartments.
"We will sell our service apartments. We are expecting a return on investment through the sale of the mixed development within 10 years," he added.
Among the 10 stations identified were the Tun Ali station (town central), Chempaka station, Sentral station, Peringgit station, College station (close to Kolej Yayasan Melaka), MBMB station, MMU station, MITC station and the last station near Zoo Melaka.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the project was expected to boost the business prospects for locals and become a tourist attraction for both local and foreign visitors.
He said the aerorail, one of its kind in the region, would not only reduce traffic congestion and pollution but also cater to the increasing tourist population to the state, which is expected to reach 13 million in 2010 from the 7.4 million last year.
"Melaka needs a better transport system. We don't want to experience what Kuala Lumpur is experiencing in traffic congestion.
"Besides, the city is experiencing significant tourist presence already. With the state's recognition as a world heritage city, the number of tourists visiting is expected to grow by leaps and bounds as more than 10 other projects are expected to come on stream by year-end.
"This will boost the tourism industry at large for next year," he told reporters here after launching Restress Kopitiam, Malaysia's first eco-concept restaurant, at Bandar Sunway
Source : Bernama
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