by Nancy Nais
MIRI, May 19: The long-awaited Batu Niah fire station is finally complete and has been given the green light to begin operations on June 1.
Sitting on a two-acre site along Jalan Gunung, the fire station is about five minutes’ walk from Batu Niah town.
Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Miri Zone chief Law Poh Kiong disclosed that the Public Works Department (JKR) officially handed over the building in a simple ceremony today.
The project comprises, amongst others, a Class D single-storey building to serve as the fire station, four unit quarters, a training tower and a store.
“Our logistics, assets and personnel such as FRT Scania, four-wheel drive vehicle, aluminium boat and 33 firefighters comprising 10 permanent and 18 auxiliary (PBB), are ready.
“The completion of the Batu Niah fire station project is something that we in Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department have been looking forward to as construction has been delayed for years. The station is very much needed by the people here. It is also to support other fire stations near Miri in the event of fire outbreaks,” Law revealed.
Prior to this, the nearest fire station to Niah was in Miri, which is about 70km away.
Law pointed out that although Miri has two fire stations at Miri Central and Lopeng, they are tasked to cover a large area.
The Batu Niah fire station project was initially contracted to a firm for a sum of RM5 million.
Work began on Aug 20, 2015, right after an earth-breaking ceremony by the then Housing Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is currently Sarawak’s Chief Minister.
The fire station was scheduled to be completed on Nov 13, 2016 (15 months after construction work started).
But the contract was terminated on Oct 26, 2017, due to failure to complete the project despite the contractor being given a revised completion date.
The delay was due to financial constraints, poor construction management, lack of coordination and insufficient manpower.
The project was later given to HH Build Construction at a cost of RM2.3 million. — DayakDaily