Baru says Lawas-Ba Kelalan road taking too long to complete

Photo shows the present condition of the Jiwa Murni road. — Borneo Post Online pic
Photo shows the present condition of the Jiwa Murni road. — Borneo Post Online pic

MIRI, Oct 24 — Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian views the Lawas-Ba Kelalan road project, undertaken by the Malaysian Armed Forces under the Jiwa Murni programme, as ‘taking way too long to complete’.

In a press statement yesterday, he said the project should have been long reached completion to generate the economy and to benefit the highland people in the northern region.

However, it was left idle after the manager of the main contractor was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in August this year.

He said they had been waiting for the road to come to their doorsteps as was promised by the then-Barisan Nasional (BN), the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Perikatan Nasional (PN)-led government during the last general election.

“After the Jiwa Murni project was not carried out accordingly, it just was left as it is.

“The track is filled with mud, potholes and worst of all, it poses danger to road-users,” he said.

Baru also claimed that chemicals and premix supposedly for the project had either been left unattended to or thrown in the valleys by the initial contractor soon after the manager was arrested.

“This is not only an environmental hazard, affecting the lives of animals as well as fishes in our rivers and streams, but it also effects humans who are depending on the rivers for their water supply,” said Baru.

He visited the site recently, where he assured the local community that he would voice the matter in the next Parliament sitting.

He was also happy to note that a private company that had been operating in the area had come forward to pick up the project.

The road construction works are now progressing well.

Meanwhile, Baru said he was informed by a resident of Ba Kelalan, Isak Mutang, that the Natural Resources and Environmental Board (NREB) had given the initial contractor a three-month notice to remove all the chemicals as well as hazardous products to a proper site.

However, until now this has not been done.

He said to ensure a safe condition and regular maintenance of the road, it should be gazetted as a state road and put under the responsibility of the Public Works Department.

“Once gazetted, the Works Ministry can allocate funds to maintain the road,” said Baru. — Borneo Post Online

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