MRT Corp says it has received a letter from Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) informing the company of the final approval of the project, including the final alignment and station locations. The approval is pursuant to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and has been signed by Malaysian's prime minister Mr Najib Razak.
The project has been given the go-ahead after a three-month public consultation, which concluded in August. According to MRT Corp, around 40,000 people visited 26 exhibition booths along the route and feedback on the proposed alignment was received from more than 10,500 respondents, 90% of whom expressed support for the project.
Following analysis of the feedback, approval has been granted without any major modifications to the alignment, although minor changes have been made at Kuchai Lama and Sungai Besi to minimise the impact of land acquisition. The government has also requested construction of an additional elevated station near Technology Park Malaysia between Sungai Besi and Serdang Raya North.
The 52.2km line will include a 13.5km underground section between Jalan Ipoh and Kuchai Lama and 38.7km of viaduct. There will be 37 stations, 25 of which will be elevated with 11 underground stations and one built into a cutting.
The initial phase of the line between Sungai Buloh and Kampung Batu is due to be operational by July 2021 and the remainder of the line from Kampung Batu to Putrahaya Sentral is scheduled to open by July 2022. MRT Corp forecasts daily ridership of more than 500,000 passengers when both phases are operational.
In July MRT appointed Arup as reference design consultant for the underground section of the line.