As North-South Highway have been connecting Bidor to other major cities in the country, the West Coast Expressway (WCE) from Banting to Taiping will bring about positive socio-economic development for Teluk Intan once it is completed in 2019, says Teluk Intan MP and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
Mah said, with the town being one of the exit points along the expressway, the journey to Kuala Lumpur in the south as well as Penang in the north will be shortened by at least 30 to 45 minutes.
“The expressway will make Teluk Intan more accessible and more connected with major cities like Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and Penang.
“As such, we will be able to attract more tourists, especially excursionists and those seeking to try out local food.
“Teluk Intan is famous not only for its leaning clock tower, but also for its reputation as a food paradise,” he said.
Mah added that, together with other development projects such as the construction of the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris campus, Teluk Intan will in future see a lot more visitors and residents, especially youths.
“This will indirectly create more jobs and business opportunities for locals in the region.
“Apart from that, by having better infrastructure and logistics, Teluk Intan will also be more favourable for businesses and investments, local and foreign,” Mah said the, adding that Teluk Intan and the neighbouring district of Bagan Datuk have already been seeing robust socio-economic growth in recent years.
In April, State Public Utilities, Infrastructure, Energy and Water Committee Chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin had similarly said more job opportunities will be created for young people and living standards improved as a result of the construction of the RM6bil expressway.
Speaking at the Perak State Assembly last week, Zainol Fadzi had said the Perak government has already mapped out several downstream projects to provide opportunities for youths living in several areas including Teluk Intan.
He said they could be employed as skilled or semi-skilled workers in the construction of the expressway or could even be involved in the construction sector or expressway maintenance as well as trying their hand at entrepreneurship by operating businesses in rest areas along the expressway.
Meanwhile, ordinary folk in Teluk Intan are looking forward to smoother traffic and travelling on better roads and.
Marketing executive Badrul Hisham Arif, who often travels to the Klang Valley, said the current Jalan Teluk Intan-Klang route is narrow and riddled with potholes.
“The number of heavy vehicles on the road also slows down traffic and makes other motorists nervous. It takes about three hours to travel between the two towns.
“Once the existing road is upgraded as an expressway, it will not only cut down our travelling time but will also make it safer for us.
“Hopefully, the expressway will be more than two lanes in each direction because if not, there will still be congestion because everyone will be using it,” said the 25-year-old bachelor.
Businessman Jasuan Singh, 53, said currently, most people in Teluk Intan travel south or north using the federal route, though some actually prefer travelling via the North-South Expressway.
“In my opinion, the overall driving experience on the North-South Expressway is much better, but then at the moment, it takes almost an entire hour to get from Teluk Intan to the nearest interchange for the North-South Expressway, which is at Bidor.
“Hopefully, the drive on the West Coast Expressway (WCE) will be as pleasant as it is on the North-South Expressway,” he said.
Jasuan added that the greater accessibility brought on by the new expressway could even improve trade and, tourism in Teluk Intan.
[Source: The Star]