ECRL a game changer, set to boost Pahang's economy: Najib

HIDIR REDUAN

PEKAN: The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is an iconic game changer that will bring about major progress to Pahang and the entire east coast.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that the 600km project, slated to begin around middle of this year, is estimated to be able to boost Pahang's economy by 1.5 per cent annually.

"Even though the railway does not pass through Pekan directly, it is not far and industries here can export (their products) either through Kuantan Port or Port Klang," he said.

"It (the ECRL) will bring undreamable changes to the landscape," he said, in a speech during the handing over ceremony of the Ganchong Water Plant from the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) to the Pahang state government today.

Najib noted that 96 per cent of Pahang residents were supportive of the ECRL project.

He said the ECRL would connect the Klang Valley and key growth areas in Pahang including Bentong, Mentakab, Maran, Gambang, Kuantan Sentral, Port Klang, and Cherating.

Najib lauded the ECRL project as not only capable of bring physical development but also bring about mental change that will give birth to a progressive-minded Malaysians.

The Ganchong Water Plant, built with an allocation of RM255.1 million as a key project under the 10th Malaysia Plan, aims to ensure uninterrupted supply of treated water to 80,000 people here.

It is capable of producing 80 million litres of water daily, which is sufficient to meet the demand for water here for the next 10 years.

Construction of the plant began in March 2014, and was completed in last month.

Also present were ECERDC chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, Pulau Manis assemblyman Datuk Khairuddin Mahmud, Peramu Jaya assemblyman Datuk Sh Mohmed Puzi Sh Ali, Bebar assemblyman Datuk Mohammad Fakhruddin Mohd Ariff, and Chini assemblyman Datuk Abu Bakar Harun.