SMC open to MRT-7 redesign to address QC gov’t concern
Food, drinks and infrastructure conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is open to redesigning part of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) after the Quezon City government ordered the suspension of construction in a landmark site.
In a statement on Wednesday (Feb 19), SMC called for the speedy resolution of the issue with the local government, which said the construction of the MRT-7’s Quezon Memorial Circle station would “affect the landmark’s identity as a national heritage park”.
The MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer rail line that will link San Jose del Monte in Bulacan province and North Avenue in Quezon City at an estimated travel time of only 30 minutes compared to two hours by car.
Part of the alignment passes through Quezon Memorial Circle. While most of the construction will take place underground, SMC said they were finalizing designs for an above-ground railway station.
In the statement, SMC president Ramon S. Ang said the company was hoping the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will soon help resolve the issue.
“The resolution of issues is really up to DOTr, as main proponent, and the LGU,” Ang said.
“For us, while the order is a setback, we will do everything we can to make sure we keep to the timetable, and at the same time take into account the mayor’s concerns. This includes revisions to the design,” he added.
SMC also acknowledged the concern of the LGU on the original design, which it said was approved by the previous cIty administration.
In issuing the city government’s cease and desist order, Mayor Joy Belmonte also said the station exceeded the agreed area of construction.
The MRT-7 project, classified as a national infrastructure project, had been hobbled with delays from the time of the signing of the concession agreement in 2008.
SMC finally took over in 2016 and the project officially commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
SMC earlier said the project will be finished by 2022. The MRT-7 is seen to ease traffic in Quezon City and is expected to serve 850,000 commuters once operational.
Edited by TSB
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