RM9.5 million project to light up 24 Ili Batang Ai settlements

Rayong enjoys a warm welcome in Tanjung on Sunday.

Rayong enjoys a warm welcome in Tanjung on Sunday.

ENGKILILI: At least 24 settlements in the Ili Batang Ai area in Engkilili constituency will have electricity from the grid by November next year.

Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong said the project to light up 24 settlements would cost about RM9.5 million.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem was serious in wanting to develop the rural areas.

Rayong said this to reporters in Tanjung, an Ili Batang Ai village, on Sunday. He was there with representatives of local electricity infrastructure contractor Shorefield Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to explain to the people about the project.

He said he would request for more money to ensure that all settlements in the Ili Batang Ai area would be connected to the electricity grid.

“I hope no settlement in Ili Batang Ai area will be out of the electricity grid by November next year. I have promised my constituents here (at Ili Batang Ai area) that I will do all that I can to make sure that happens.”

At the gathering, he handed grant totalling RM20,000 to Tanjung villagers to renovate their longhouse and for activities. He also gave RM5,000 for Pak village’s women’s bureau for their activities.

During the dialogue session, Shorefield project manager Osman Hadami urged the people of Ili Batang Ai to give their fullest cooperation to ensure successful implementation of the project.

“We hope we don’t bump into incidents where villagers refuse to give away their land for infrastructure. We need all the cooperation that we can get from the villagers.”

An SEB officer explained to the villagers about wiring standards and the precautions to take when they finally have electricity.

The project is expected to involve erecting about 300 utility poles and cables totalling 28km.