JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Johor's new Menteri Besar Osman Sapian has said the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS) project would require more land than initially planned and authorities would continue its talks with land owners in order to secure the space.
Datuk Osman said some owners of land plots marked for acquisition had demanded higher compensation.
"We need a bigger area for the RTS project, so the number of land owners affected has also increased," he said after on Tuesday (June 19).
Set to open by end 2024, the RTS link is a 4km line that will connect Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru to Woodlands North.
The rail agreement was inked in January between Singapore and Malaysia under the previous Barisan Nasional government with the aim of boosting the cross-border economy and easing commutes across the Causeway. Construction of the link was expected to begin next year.
Osman said that based on current market value, more than RM 300million (S$101.5 million) would need to be paid to land owners in the Kim Teng Park residential area, that has been earmarked for acquisition under the Johor Baru Master Plan.
The 10ha area has 1,500 residents and 300 homes comprising single-storey terrace houses, single and double-storey semi-detached houses and bungalows.
The neighbourhood is located in the centre of Johor Baru and is a 10-minute walk to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facility.
The RTS project, he said, would ease the daily congestion along the Causeway.
On another matter, Osman said he would meet the Prime Minister on the postponement of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project as well as the decision not to proceed with claims to Pedra Branca, also known as Pulau Batu Puteh.