‘Logging road going around dreaded rapids to be upgraded’


THE eight-km unused logging road that bypasses the dreaded Pelagus rapids between Kapit and Belaga, will be upgraded and ready for use by end of the year, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Dato Sri Michael Manyin said yesterday.

He said works to upgrade the road to all-weathered standard, would be implemented by the Public Works Department (JKR).

“I have discussed with Land Development Minister Dato Sri Dr James Masing. He (Masing) said it would be a temporary road because a permanent road will be built later on, and it will pass through Nanga Merit,” Manyin told the media on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly Sitting here.

He said he had informed the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud about the implementation of the project to upgrade the eight-km road.

“I have instructed JKR to do the upgrading works immediately. It’s not going to be expensive as the road is already there. All we need to do is to upgrade with gravel,” he said.

Manyin was responding to Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi’s request that the road should be upgraded as an alternative and preventive measure to prevent the local residents from passing the dreaded Pelagus rapids by boat, especially during the current dry spell.

It has been reported that the Pelagus rapids had claimed many lives, but the local people have not been given an alternative form of transport.

Meanwhile, Manyin said the focus of the ministry over the next 10 years would be to construct connecting roads to all villages by 2020.

“We hope to connect all these villages with roads — tar — sealed or at least gravel roads,” he said.

The minister also assured that the roads to Kapit via Nanga Merit and Song would be constructed soon.