WHAT TO DO ABOUT the Menora Tunnel?

By: Zaki Salleh

IPOH – An incident involving a tanker truck at Kilometer (KM) 265.6 (southbound) near the Menora Tunnel CAUSING A 7- HOUR standstill yesterday sparked renewed debate about traffic management issues on the North-South Highway (PLUS).

Accidents that occur not only cause long traffic jams but how to overcome the traffic problem is also disputed.

The average road user questions the extent to which the PLUS side overcomes the matter because accidents in the Menora Tunnel are repeated frequently.

They claim that when an accident occurs, the user will be the victim and have to bear the consequences such as loss of time.

Visiting the PLUS Facebook page, many netizens left comments urging the highway operator, including related government agencies, to act accordingly.

Ashraf Ibrahim suggested PLUS upgrade the official social media including FB and Twitter pages.

“What time did it happen? How many people were stuck? We understand the emergency. But what time did we release the media statement?

“Cars can u-turn. Bus trucks have a very limited distance to u-turn,” he said.

Another user, Nur Ridzwan commented:

“That route has frequent accidents. Trucks are driven not according to the set speed limit. What is the solution from the PLUS side? From before until now, everything is the same… NO SOLUTION… Just apologize… People pay tolls to go fast to reach the destination but in the end, it is the people who bear the cost of loss, time and occasionally lives.”

The user with the title ‘Meniti Suratan’ wants the authorities to think about a solution to  the issue in the Menora Tunnel.

“PLUS, the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM), the Ministry of Public Works and the Perak state government and the federal government are requesting to discuss building a new route to replace the existing route. This is because the current route is not suitable for use and should be closed immediately because there are too many accidents happening on this route,” he said.

Previously, the Perak government hoped that the construction of the West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE) could be carried out this year as well to prevent the fatal accidents that occur every week in the Menora Tunnel from continuing.

Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said in a statement that the WISE, approximately 60-kilometre-long highway connects Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar and is an alternative route for users, other than through the Menora Tunnel.

Saarani said the highway construction approval was delayed at the Central level before, due to the dissolution of Parliament in October last year.

“The contractor has been called to give a briefing to the Perak Economic Planning Unit (UPEN), the EXCO line and the technical department involved after the first time they came to meet in February 2021. Finally, the state government gave its approval,” he said.

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