Army plans to build the 400km road and seeks special provision for project
BINTULU: The Ministry of Defence will seek allocation of special provision for the construction of the road linking Kapit to Sibu under the army’s Blue Ocean Strategy.
This was disclosed by Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid
Hamidi at a press conference at the airport after visiting the site of Belaga boat express tragedy here yesterday.
“The 300 to 400 kilometre road will pass through forests, mountains, rapids and rivers and the construction will take time and costly but the Prime Minister will look into it carefully,” he said
Zahid added that the road was being planned and existing logging roads would be used.
The army will work with logging companies in upgrading their roads and constructing bridges across the many streams and rivers.
“It is estimated that RM600 million to RM800 million will be needed for the completion of the road that would take five to six years and the ministry is confident the state government will give support to ATM (Armed Forces) to complete the project,” he said.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein in a statement released in Kuala Lumpur yesterday said a 38km road connecting
Belaga to Menjawah built by the Defence Ministry through its its ‘Jiwa Murni Khas’ special project was 92 per cent complete and was expected to be finished by August.
“With the alternative land road available, rural folks need not depend heavily on rivers as their mode of transport with its high risks involved,” he said.
The project is one of four road projects in the state, undertaken by the Defence Ministry.
“The road project is to build a road close to the main Batang Rajang river, not far from where the boat capsize tragedy happened recently.”
Hishammuddin said the road would connect Kampung Menjawah, Bakun Hydro dam to Belaga town and can be assessed by seven long houses, namely Rumah Nyaving, Rumah Apan, Rumah Long Mitik, Rumah Long Segaham, Rumah Panjang Lahanan, Rumah Panjang Kajaman and Rumah Panjang Makahei.
The RM56 million project is undertaken by engineers from the Armed Forces with assistance from the local councils and funded by the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU) under the Prime Minister’s Department as part of the Blue Ocean Strategy through a special allocation by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
It was approved by Najib during his visit to Belaga in January 2011.
The ATM engineering corps built the road with materials from private sector suppliers.
The Public Works Department had estimated the construction of the road under the conventional contracts would cost more than RM320 million. - theborneopost