Friday, October 7

Abang Johari: ART system to begin construction in Kuching in third quarter of 2022

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An example of the ART system being used in China. – Photo from China Railway Construction Corporation

KUCHING (Dec 8): The Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system in Kuching is currently in the design stage, and construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of next year.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the project consists of 52.6 kilometres of routes and is expected to be operational in 2025.

“Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) that was set up in February 2018 to develop and handle the operation of ART,” Abang Johari said this during the launching of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) election manifesto at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

He said this project was part of the over 100 game-changing initiatives carried out by the GPS state government to improve the socio-economic development of the state, which had benefited the people in the state massively.

Other big-scale initiatives embarked by the state included the construction of the 786-kilometre Pan Borneo Highway with a cost of RM16.1 billion, expected to be completed by 2023.

The second big scale project was the 242-kilometre Second Trunk Road project that involved the construction of three bridges, namely the Sungai Lingga, Batang Saribas 2 and Batang Lupar 2 bridges with a cost of RM6 billion, and expected to be completed by 2026.

There was also the 896-kilometre Coastal Road Project that involved 10 bridges, namely over the Batang Rajang, Batang Saribas, Batang Paloh, Muara Lassa, Bintulu-Jepak, Batang Rambungan, Batang Lupar 1, Sungai Sarawak-Sejingkat, Sungai Krian and Batang Igan rivers. This project is to be completed by 2028.

The government is also planning to construct 300 communication towers by next year to improve internet coverage in the state. The development of 5G infrastructures will begin next year with close cooperation with Digital Nasional Berhad.

The government also plans to ensure 100 per cent coverage of electricity and water supply throughout the state by 2025.

“The current treated water supply’s coverage in rural areas is at about 66.5 per cent, whereas 96 per cent of the state’s population currently enjoy 24-hour electricity supply,” said Abang Johari.

Besides, Abang Johari said, his administration aimed to continue rural development through the Rural Transformation Projects (RTP) and the government had already allocated RM1.06 billion for the past three years to carry out 6,427 RTP projects in the state.