KAPIT (Feb 1): The Sarawak government has spent RM400 million on development projects in Kapit in the past three years, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the projects were implemented under the Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) in Bukit Mabong district, Projek Rakyat in Kapit town area, and minor projects.

He said all the projects were going smoothly although some were facing challenges that caused some delays in their implementation.

“The delay in the implementation of the projects involved land matters where some landowners opposed the projects although they wanted the projects at first.

“The projects also faced logistic issues. For example the development of Bukit Mabong district where the contractors are facing difficulties to transport construction materials to the area.

“This has delayed the implementation of the project.

“We are also facing a logistic problem to develop basic infrastructure including provision of water and electric supplies.

“In general, Kapit town and its surrounding areas are developing rapidly. We need time to resolve the issues due to the logistic factor,” he said at a press conference after chairing the State Development Coordination Committee Meeting at the Sarawak Government Complex at Jalan Bleteh here today.

He added the committee will conduct a study on the implementation of the projects during the 12th Malaysia Plan mid term review.

On the construction of the Bukit Mabong STOLport, Abang Johari said the state government will proceed with the project despite facing delays caused by logistical issues to transport construction materials to the project site.

“It is a matter of time. We cannot implement it based on our target. That means it has been delayed due to a logistic problem.

“We will find alternatives to resolve the logistic issue because many contractors opted to use land to transport construction materials with the availability of roads instead of rivers.

“If there is no other access, we will use barges to deliver the materials to the site using the river.

“Actually the contractors can use rivers to bring in the materials. They just have to think out of the box. Actually it is cheaper to use a barge and it carries more volume,” he said.

On a similar note, Abang Johari said the state government has a master plan to expand Kapit town.

He said a new township will be developed under the masterplan which will be linked to the main road to Sibu.

“Kapit town is developing rapidly and this has contributed to traffic jams in certain places.

“The new township will consist of a commercial area, housing and basic roads to connect it to the existing Kapit town.

“We can also relocate those affected by riverbank erosion to the new housing area,” he said.

Earlier, Abang Johari presented cheques totalling RM944,800 from Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) for missionary schools in Kapit division.

He also presented appointment certificates to new community leaders in Kapit.

He later visited the Urda building.

Among those present were State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki; deputy premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Public Works Minister and Urda chairman Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi; Minister of Food Industries, Commodities and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; and Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer Datu Ismawi Ismuni among others. -Source: The Borneo Post