By Chris Bishop and Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 8: A trans-Sarawak road network spanning 1,924km with at least 13 bridges to link the entire region is expected to be completed by 2028.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that these are among the 100 initiatives implemented by the GPS government that will be “game changers” to boost the socio-economic development of Sarawak.
Among the large-scale strategic projects that are being implemented and need time to complete, he shared, include the contruction of the 786km Pan Borneo Highway costing RM16.1 billion which is expected to be completed in 2024.
“The construction of the 242km Second Trunk Road project involving three bridges over Sungai Lingga, Batang Saribas 2 and Batang Lupar 2 costing RM6 billion are expected to be completed in 2026.
“The construction of the 896km coastal road project that involves 10 bridges over Batang Rajang, Batang Saribas, Batang Paloh, Muara Lassa, Bintulu-Jepak, Batang Rambungan, Batang Lupar 1, Sungai Sarawak-Sejingkat, Sungai Krian and Batang Igan to be completed in 2028,” he said when launching the GPS manifesto for the 12th Sarawak Election at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here tonight.
With aggressive and extensive efforts to develop and improve the transportation network in Sarawak, the chief minister added that works on the Kuching Automated Flow Transit (ART) System involving the construction of dual lines spanning 52.6km would begin in the third quarter of next year and is expected to be operational in 2025.
“Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) was established in February 2018 to develop and manage the ART operations. Currently, the project is in the design stage,” he revealed.
He said that the construction of 300 teleco towers, which is expected to be completed in 2022, aims to increase internet access throughout Sarawak, while the development of 5G infrastructure will begin next year in collaboration with Digital National Berhad.
Sarawak will also see 100 per cent coverage of water and electricity supply by 2025. To date, the coverage of clean treated water supply in rural areas is 66.5 per cent while 96 per cent are currently enjoying 24-hour electricity supply, he added.
Abang Johari assured GPS will also boost rural development through Rural Transformation Projects (RTPs) with RM1.06 billion allocated over the past three years to implement 6,427 projects throughout Sarawak.
“Each GPS elected representatives are given an allocation of RM5 million a year to implement RTP in their respective areas. All of them have shown excellent performance in implementing RTP in their respective areas and many more RTPs will be implemented for the next five years,” he said.
Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) secretary-general Dato Anthony Nogek Gumbek were among those present. — DayakDaily