Upgrading works at Kellie’s Castle will be sped up to bring forward the date of completion from October to earlier in the year.
State Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman said she had spoken to the Public Works Department and contractor assigned to carry out the RM5mil upgrading job to speed up the work.
“The construction progress is, to date, 35% complete with piling and foundation works already finished.
“We want more tourists to be able to enjoy better facilities during Visit Perak Year 2012,” she said after visit-ing the castle.
Hamidah visited Kellie’s Castle after The Star carried a report detailing issues related to the lack of parking space for vehicles, including tour buses, and road signs.
It was also reported that the initial long period needed to carry out the improvements was counter-productive as they were only to be ready in October, three months shy of the end of Visit Perak Year 2012.
“As a temporary measure, the contractor will add more workers and increase the parking space by making the construction site smaller.
“Apart from that, the state government is working with the PWD to clear a nearby field as an alternative parking site and to build a Bailey bridge for visitors to cross the river.
“I will also speak with the Batu Gajah District Council on the possibility of removing trees that obstruct the view of the castle to make it easier for tourists to take photographs,” she said.
Hamidah said the state would also make sure that local products such as Ipoh white coffee, pomeloes and kacang putih would be served at the tea garden and food stalls planned for the castle.
“This is the best opportunity for us to promote our local products,” she said.
Perak Tourism Ministry Office director Syahruddin Abdul Hamid, who was also present, said interior design works would be carried out within the castle to create an old-world ambience.
“We will add various lighting, furniture and boards depicting images of what the uncompleted rooms were supposed to be like.
“I want to assure the public that we are only conducting interior- design work and nothing will be done to ruin the castle’s structure or the 100-year-old bricks,” he said.