However, Kuantan Municipal Council president Datuk Zulkifli Yaacob said the tunnel would only be opened to the public by early next year after several trial runs. He said all safety aspects would be scrutinised to ensure no untoward incidents or major glitches so that visitors could enjoy the site visit thoroughly.
“We have yet to decide on the price of the entrance fees but locals would definitely pay a lower amount compared to foreign tourists. ”The whole visit is expected to take about one hour including a train ride with proper lightings and audio,” he said during a site visit recently. Also present was Paya Besar MCA division chief Datuk Ng Fook Heng.
Zulkifli said the RM8mil allocation for the refurbishment was provided for by the Federal Government and work had started since last year. He said visitors would also be able to witness 12 replica of tin mining workers in various stages of work inside the tunnel.
“Besides, they would get an opportunity to take a short walk along the path used by former mine workers. “It is like a time tunnel in which visitors are transported back to the olden days,” he said, adding that those interested could also try their hand in panning for tin with a dulang.
Zulkifli said he was confident the site would be able to attract more visitors to Sungei Lembing during weekends, school and public holidays. He said many people were already flocking to the former mining town to visit the rainbow waterfall, museum, hanging bridge among others, every year.
”Once completed, we would carry out aggressive promotions and publicise the site in addition to offering special prizes for the 100,000th or 500,000th visitor,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ng said the site would be able boost economic activities for the locals and promote Sungei Lembing as a must visit attraction. ”I am sure visitors to Kuantan will not miss the opportunity to visit Sungei Lembing and hope all travel agencies would help in promotional efforts,” he said.