Friday, August 19

Timber company to upgrade road

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A snapshot of The Borneo Post’s Thursday edition which quoted local residents in Ba Kelalan resorting to demonstration for immediate government intervention to improve their road.

KUCHING: A timber company operating in the area has agreed in principle to upgrade the 66km Long Luping-Ba Kelalan Road that has been damaged due mainly to the current wet season.

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said representatives from the timber company have met with his officers on how best to address the road condition in the most efficient manner.

The upgrading is estimated to cost RM36 million.

“The timber company concerned has agreed to gravel the road and will eventually tar-seal it as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. But the government will pay them once the project is completed,” Masing said yesterday.

“In most cases, roads are damaged mainly because of overloading. So we hope that the elected representatives will cooperate closely with the company concerned and the relevant authorities on how best to take care of their road.”

When contacted, Lawas member of Parliament Datuk Henry Sum Agong said he will do his part to assist the people to get the road upgraded.

“I will make the necessary appointments to meet the ministers of infrastructure at both the state and federal levels so that works on the road can be expedited. Time is now of the utmost essence and we cannot afford to delay any more because the people have suffered enough with the bad road condition,” said Henry, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism.

Meanwhile, a transporter from Long Semadoh Lion King @ Singa said the road condition has continually worsened by the day due to the wet weather and more stretches of the road are very challenging to navigate.

“On top of that our expenditure on vehicle maintenance has escalated but we have no other choice but to continue to provide transport for the people as well as to transport goods,” he added.