Tuesday, September 24

SRB bans construction of structures on Bakun Lake

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KUCHING: Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) has decided in general that no construction of any structure should be carried out on Bakun Lake even as it seeks to formulate a set of rules and regulations to govern ‘jelatongs’ or floating houses on the lake.

“Our lawyers are now working on a specific set of rules and regulations such as the definition of ‘jelatong’, to govern these floating houses on the Bakun Lake.

“Though the process is ongoing, a general rule has been set that no construction of any structure is allowed on the lake,” said SRB controller William Jinep.

The jelatongs emerged overnight after the impoundment of the Bakun Dam. These houses are built by the natives living in the area whose dwelling places went underwater after the impoundment. According to the last count carried out by SRB in June there are about 270 jelatongs on the lake.

Apart from the jelatongs, the SRB which was set up under the Sarawak Rivers Ordinance 1993 is also tighting its enforcement to ensure safe riverine traveling.

He said prior to the existence of the Ordinance, there was alcoholic drinking carried out on moving vessels.

“Under the Ordinance, alcoholic drinking is prohibited. No one is allowed to take any alcoholic drink on moving vessels though they can transport it.

“Also under the same Ordinance, there should also be no carrying of dangerous weapons as well as no screening of pornographic DVD movies, not even those that show soft pornography,” said Jinep.