GEORGE TOWN, Sept 19 — Works on Gurney Wharf, which was supposed to start early this year, has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman said the state is still in the process of appointing a contractor for the project.
“We are still going through the processes, it was delayed due to the pandemic,” he told the Malay Mail in a telephone interview.
He confirmed that the reclaimed land off the Gurney Drive foreshore was already handed over to the state government.
He said the state will make an announcement once it finalises details on the commencement of works on the project.
Reclamation works along the Gurney Drive foreshore started in 2016 and reclamation of 131.09 acres (53ha) of land was completed in December 2019.
The reclamation works were conducted in accordance with a concession agreement signed between the Penang state government and Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD), a subsidiary of Eastern & Oriental Berhad.
Under the agreement, TPD was to reclaim the land at its own cost and handover 131.09 acres of reclaimed land along the Gurney foreshore to the state government by December 2022.
According to an official statement from Eastern & Oriental Berhad, the reclamation works were completed by the main reclamation contractor, China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) at the end of September 2019.
“Sectional hangover to the state government began in October 2019 and is currently ongoing,” the statement read.
In February this year, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state will be appointing consultants for the project and that a tender will be called for a contractor to start planting trees and plan the landscape for the project.
He reportedly said the project would be completed within 18 months, by August 2021.
In December last year, Jagdeep had announced that about 24ha of the total 53ha of land will be set aside for public amenities including a seafront public park.
He reportedly said there will be a wetland, food and beverage outlets, retail outlets and a water taxi pier along the 24ha site and that works were supposed to start in June this year.