Construction of road linking Long Lama and Lawas may kick off this year — Baru

Baru (facing camera) during the live broadcast at RTM Miri.

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By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, March 7: The construction of a 300km road from Long Lama to Lawas may start by the end of this year or early next year, said Works Minister Baru Bian today.

Stating this after a live broadcast interview with RTM Miri, Baru said, “This is good news for Sarawakians and those residing in the northern region. Once this link road materialises, it will not only create road access but serve as an economic catalyst for the locals.”

He added that Phase 2 of the proposed Pan Borneo Highway project would bypass Brunei.

“We will create a new link road from Miri, Marudi to Long Lama, Long Kovok, Long Bedian up till Lawas, Merapok and ending up at Sipitang (Sabah),” he explained.

On the state government’s plan to build another road linking Miri to Marudi and further up to Long Terawan, Baru said if that was the case, his ministry would embark on another section of the road.

“Perhaps, we can start from Long Lama instead of Miri,” he said, adding that once the road is built, it would take only three hours to drive between Lawas and Long Lama.

Asked when the project would start, Baru replied, “We hope to start with the physical project end of this year.”

On the Pan Borneo Highway project, Baru said 36 per cent of the initiative had been completed and that works were expected to wrap up by June 2021.

“We have 10 remaining packages that are being carried out, from Sematan up to Miri,” he said.

“From Bakun’s junction to Sungai Tangap in Bintulu, about 34 per cent of the physical development is completed, while from Sungai Tangap to Jalan Pujut link in Miri, the construction completed is about 36 per cent.”

On the recent allegation by natives of encroachment into Gunung Mulu National Park, he said a hearing on the case would be held this March 17.

“I hope it will settle the dispute,” he said.

To state leaders, he hoped they would not simply cast aside any complaint lodged by the people, especially in matters related to native customary rights (NCR).

“The government should be patient and investigate those claims,” he advised. — DayakDaily