Almost a year on, restoration works still ongoing at Penang Hill

Opalyn Mok
It will take a few years to fully restore and rehabilitate landslides all around Penang Hill. — Picture by Steven Ooi KE

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 27 — Slope stabilisation works for the numerous landslides on Penang Hill will likely take a few more years to complete, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) general manager Cheok Lay Leng said today.

There were more than 300 landslides all over the hill after the massive storm last November and remedial works are still ongoing, he said.

“We have cleared the main roads and paths, but it will take time to rehabilitate and reconstruct most of the affected sites,” he said, adding that costs also played a major role.

Cheok said they had called for tenders for three projects to implement slope stabilisation at 16 spots on the hill.

“The tender is concluding soon and we hope to start work by mid September,” he said.

He said PHC will have to call for tenders for the many other spots in different stages.

“The costs, which will be borne by the Penang state government, could run to millions so we have to implement the projects in stages,” he said.

He said the tender process, other than to obtain the best price to implement the project, is also to get professionals in slope stabilisation.

“This reconstruction work will take a long time to complete, it will be a continuous process for the next few years,” he said.

He said they will focus mostly on restoration, rehabilitation and rebuilding of the affected slopes.

PHC has already cleared and opened most of the hiking trails up the hill.

“Our rehabilitation and restoration projects now will focus on the slopes affected at Summit Road, Upper Tunnel Road and also the drainage, most of which were also damaged due to the landslides,” he told reporters after a groundbreaking ceremony to rebuild the P84 rest area at the halfway point up Penang Hill.

PHC is also undertaking upgrading works on its existing infrastructure such as the phase three upgrading project at the lower station. The upgrading works, which included more retail shops and basic amenities, will be completed by October.

“We have a few more upgrading projects in the pipeline at the upper station so that it is more conducive for visitors going up the hill daily,” he said.

The projects will include improving existing facilities and amenities.

“We will also be looking at how to improve traffic flow for the jeep track up the hill,” he added.

PHC in collaboration with Penang Island City Council and the local Lion’s Club today launched a project to rebuild popular rest stop P84 at KM2.4 on the way up the hill.

The RM250,000 project, fully funded through donations from the public, is expected to be completed by December.

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