Electricity to 95 pct of rural areas by 2012
Posted on December 9, 2010, Thursday
KUCHING: The government targets to cover 95 per cent of the state’s rural areas by 2012 under its Rural Electrification Scheme (RES), a project under the National Key Results Area (NKRA).
Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan told the media yesterday that the allocation for RES is RM1.7 billion and that currently RES covers only 66 per cent of the rural population.
On clean water, Awang Tengah disclosed that currently it is supplied to 60 per cent of the rural populace.
However, with the allocation of RM1.5 billion under NKRA, the government would target to supply treated and clean water to 90 per cent of rural areas, he added, saying the government hoped to achieve the target by 2012.
Awang Tengah explained that the provision of the basic infrastructure was an extra allocation set aside by the government in line with NKRA objectives to see that the people in the rural areas were not left out of development and to uplift their standard of living.
On the latest development regarding Bengoh Dam, the Minister of Public Utilities said the government would only impound it after all the villagers had totally moved out to the new resettlement area in Bengoh.
He said initially the impoundment of the dam was to be done by early next year but due to humanitarian reasons, the government had decided to delay it, as it had to ensure that the infrastructure and facilities in the resettlement area were completed before the villagers move in.
He assured that the contractor was expediting the infrastructure for the resettlement programme so that the impoundment would not be delayed further.
Replying to a question about some villagers wanting to move to higher ground instead of the resettlement area, Awang Tengah said the government would not allow them to do so as they would cause pollution to the dam.
“The numbers are few and these are the villagers instigated by the opposition,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of supplying clean water to Pulau Bruit, Awang Tengah said that the contractor was rectifying the matter as the submarine pipe was swept twice by water currents off Kuala Paloh, revealing that it was a major incident and that the contractor had lost a lot of money.
To resolve the problem, he said the contractor would need to bury a pipe under open seabed between Pulau Serdeng and Pulau Bruit.
Awang Tengah was explaining the difficulty faced by the contractor when building the pipeline from Tanjung Manis to Pulau Serdeng and laying a submarine pipe to Pulau Bruit, the design of which had to be changed as they underestimated the matter initially.