Thursday, August 22

Power supply for villagers after three-year wait


KOTA MARUDU: Kampung Minansad villagers’ three-year itch for power supply will end soon.

The delayed power connection due to a dispute between the state utility company Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB), Sawit Kinabalu Sdn Bhd and villagers, was resolved yesterday at a meeting chaired by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, here.

“It was a wayleave issue, which created a dispute between the three parties. It was a project under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry in 2014, involving residents of Kampung Minansad, costing some RM51.8 million.

“Upon completion about a year later, the distribution line was unable to be energised due to objection by Sawit Kinabalu as these residents had no authorisation to occupy the land.

“Only a few structures, including several houses, public facilities like community hall and a cultural centre, were allowed to occupy the land. As a result, SESB was not allowed to energise the distribution line until the matter was resolved,” Ongkili said.

The Kota Marudu MP said the wayleave was finally granted by Sawit Kinabalu to all residents, expect for four occupants pending further discussion on their occupancy on the land.

He said the distribution line would be energised within the next two weeks after testing and safety certification of the line was acquired.

“I thank Sawit Kinabalu for the cooperation and  for the people for patiently waiting for power.

“Any problem faced by the people can be solved by the government, if we follow the proper channel. Unlike the opposition who would just bark, just to make noise, to win the people’s sympathies while brainwashing them to hate the government,” said Ongkili.

After the meeting, Ongkili also visited the affected area.