‘Jiwa Murni roads only for rural connectivity, not heavy trucks’

File photo: Jiwa Murni Road linking Belaga and Bintulu looking fine and decent if the road is not being used by heavy laden vehicles.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING: “Jiwa Murni” roads which are much cheaper to build are strictly for the purpose of providing connectivity for normal road users in rural areas.

Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing emphasised that these roads were never meant for timber trucks which have been damaging the roads.

“Jiwa Murni roads are cheaper to build. They are meant to create accessibility from point A to point B.”

Jiwa Murni roads, according to Masing who is also Deputy Chief Minister, cost RM3,000 per kilometre while the R3 standard road built by the Public Works Department costs three times more at RM10,000 to RM15,000 per kilometre.

The decision on whether to build a Jiwa Murni road or R3 road depends on which is deemed more essential – quality or connectivity.

He said the Jiwa Murni roads would not have last if they were to be used by heavy timber truck drivers whose irresponsible action had denied the rural people accessibility by damaging the said roads.

Masing speaks to reporters during the press conference.

“Timber trucks are not supposed to use the road and we have build gantries to stop them,” Masing told the media at the press conference for the 10th Sarawak Amateur Masters Open Gold Championship 2017 event at a local hotel here today.

The government’s effort however, has been retaliated by timber truck drivers bulldozing their way through, bringing down the gantries.

Masing said the heavy vehicle drivers may continue to run down the gantries the government put up. However, the government would continue to set up new gantries until these drivers learnt to obey rules and regulations.

On the damaged Bakelalan Road, Masing said the road would be repaired.

He hoped the Land Transport Department (JPJ) would enhance enforcement so that these heavy truck drivers will be dealt with accordingly.