JKR Sarawak proposes ferry operation zone to keep fishing boats away

Uggah and others on board a ferry to inspect its safety aspects.

SAMARAHAN, Jan 21: The Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak has proposed the establishment of a ferry operation zone to keep fishing vessels or boats at a safe distance and reduce the risk of accidents.

JKR deputy director Richard Tajan raised this matter with Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas during a visit to the Triso and Saribas ferry terminals here yesterday.

Richard pointed out that local fishermen tend to fish close to the ferry operating area due to the favourable condition where the river water meets the sea water, which had attracted fish.

“However, there was an incident in July 2018 where their ‘pukat’ or fishing nets got entangled on the ferry propellers. We are not trying to stop them from fishing but they must follow the rules.

“Public safety can be compromised, and we certainly do not want this to happen,” he said in a statement today.

Before initiating the proposal, Richard also gave assurance to hold dialogues with the fishing community, the area’s elected representatives, and community leaders.

“JKR hopes for this ferry operation zone to be gazetted in order for it to come into effect,” he added.

Uggah’s Assistant Minister Datuk Majang Renggi also joined him in the visits. — DayakDaily