Samling to undertake maintenance work on the Long Luping-Ba’Kelalan road, says Masing

File picture showing the deteriorating condition of the road that links Ba'Kelalan and Long Semadoh to an appalling state, even four-wheel drives vehicles have difficulty negotiating. - dayakdaily.com

KUCHING: Samling Group of Companies agrees to provide maintenance work on the 80km Long Luping-Ba’Kelalan road said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing.

Masing said Samling senior officials have come with a proposal to turned the current 80km stretch from the current muddy and difficult to traverse path in the interior into a gravel road.

“We hope that the maintenance work could start before the end of this year,” he told reporters.

He, however, is unsure when the maintenance work will be completed.

Masing, who is also the Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister, said he will seek funding to maintenance the road once he has officially received an official letter from Samling and work on the road is estimated to be RM36 million.

The Long Luping-Ba’Kelalan used to be a logging track built by Samling to transports logs from its timber concession in the area, which the company has abandoned after the concession ended.

Following this, the Army upgraded the logging track under its Jiwa Murni programme, but upon completion, no maintenance was carried out on the road especially once it is deteriorates after heavy torrential rain in the area.

Masing said once the Long Luping-Ba’Kelalan road has been covered with gravels, the journey from Lawas to Ba’kelalan will take about three hours, instead of eight hours at present.

“This road serves about 20 Orang Ulu settlements in the area. The government will build roads for the people but it takes time as funding is always the problem. Sarawak is very vast yet the people are scattered, we can’t be concentrating on development in one area, while neglecting the others who needed it more,” said Masing. – dayakdaily.com