The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urged the Penang state government to cancel the Penang Hill cable car project, and instead improve the public transportation system and amenities.
CAP President, Mohideen Abdul Kader said that the state government should not proceed with the Penang Hill cable car project as it will have serious consequences on the environment as well as on the health of the public.
“The well-being of the people and the integrity of our environment should not be sacrificed at the altar of tourist dollars. The provision for a cable car would lead to the construction of hotels, restaurants, theme parks, homes, and roads to cater for the increased number of tourists and residents,” he said in a statement here today.
He stated that such development will have major impacts on the fragile hill environment and imperil ecological balance such as soil erosion, degraded land slopes, and increased landslides.
Mohideen indicated that the cable car station will be positioned near the Youth Park and the botanical Garden would result in an increase in traffic congestion in the surrounding areas.
In addition, he said that air and noise pollution will spoil the enjoyment of those who visit the Youth Park and the Botanical Garden.
He also stated that the construction of the cable car as well as the subsequence human activities on the hill and at the station will generate significant volumes of carbon dioxide and thereby increasing the carbon footprint.
“The authorities have not learned any lesson from the storm and the floods several years ago which caused massive landslides, uprooted many trees, and cut off communications on the hill,” he said.
Last Wednesday, the Penang government announced that the Penang Hill cable car project has been awarded to local integrated rolling stock and rail services company Hartasuma Sdn Bhd which involves an anticipated investment of RM245 million.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who is also Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) chairman, said the project is expected to take three years to complete.