7:49 am - Sunday March 18, 2018

Sarawak committed in developing its coastal road system


MO,8/3/2018, KUCHING: Sarawak is committed in developing its coastal roads despite the geographical challenges and high costs. This is to ensure the state’s rural folks can enjoy a good road network system. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg said one of the challenges in developing the coastal roads in Sarawak, is that the state has many rivers, thus, there is a need to build more bridges to connect the areas.

“We need to build more bridges to replace the ferry services, of which the people are depending on now. Therefore, it will cost a lot of money as building bridges are expensive. However, we will do it at all costs, for the benefits for the village folks and those living in the coastal areas,” he said. In addition, Abang Johari said, the state will also be applying advanced technology in the construction of the coastal roads.

“We don’t want uneven and bumpy roads, thus, we are looking at various technologies, including biocement technology, which can stabilise unpaved roads and surfaces,” he said. The state government, he said, is committed to provide not only road access but a quality infrastructure which allow the people to travel safely and comfortably. Speaking at the launch of the Coastal Road Development Seminar 2018 here, the chief minister also assured that Sarawak continue to be a toll-free state.

The coastal road, he said, is a very important road network that will open up the rural areas, agriculture lands and to stimulate economic activities. With the establishment of Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), Abang Johari is confident the state could finance the road projects. “Don’t worry… I know where to get the money (fund). We have our own bank and I have a new business module which can help Sarawak to get more money,” he said, without revealing details on the module.

Meanwhile, Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said the 896km-coastal road, from Lundu to Miri, is estimated to cost about RM11 billion and will be completed in 10 years. “We need RM5 billion to build 11 bridges, RM3.2 billion for coastal roads and another RM3.2 billion for trunk road. Thus, it’s a big amount of fund but we will work things out,” he said.

Out of the 11 bridges, three bridges will be in Batang Igan, Batang Rambungan and Batang Lupar, respectively, have been funded by the Federal Government. Meanwhile, the Batang Sadong Bridge, cost RM231million, was built on a 50:50 ratio between the state and federal government.

Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, who is also the organising chairman of the seminar said the event aimed to create a platform for assemblymen, government department heads and senior officers and community leaders to share their views and feedbacks for the coastal road project.


Filed in: Dari Bumi Kenyalang, Nasional, Topik Pilihan

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