By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Nov 29: Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) has issued a total of 5,662 River Transport Permits (RTPs) to vessels plying the gazetted rivers in Sarawak to date.
Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin said SRB is consistently carrying out enforcement activities to ensure navigational safety for vessel and river cleanliness in Sarawak.
“As provided under Sarawak Rivers Ordinance, 1993, all vessels plying the gazetted rivers are required to carry and display a valid RTP. To date, a total of 5,662 RTPs have been issued.
“At the same time, SRB is also responsible to issue permits for riverine activities. Up until September 2022, a total of 241 permits have been issued for activities such as water sports as well as pipeline and cable laying works,” he said when presenting his ministerial winding up speech in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.
For safety of navigation, SRB has installed 312 Aids to Navigation (AtoNs) in the rivers throughout Sarawak and five units of yellow marker buoys to demarcate a ‘No Entry’ zone in specified water bodies namely at Bakun Dam in Belaga, Bengoh in Padawan, Tasik Biru in Bau and Tasik Danu in Serian.
Meanwhile, to ensure the safety of all ships sailing along the coast of Sarawak, Sarawak Buoys and Lights Board is working to ensure that the performance of the AtoN is in compliance with the requirements of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).
“For this year, three set of transit, four beacons at Tg Manis and three lighthouses located at Tg Jerijih, Tg Datu and Tg Po have been installed with the Automatic Information System to enable collection of data and remote monitoring for the safety of navigation along the coast of Sarawak,” he added.
Lee also said water hyacinths – a water plant with rapid propagation, is causing some of the rivers in Sarawak to become hazardous for navigation.
“It has also become a breeding ground for vectors of diseases. Currently my Ministry is in the process of appointing an appropriate consultant to carry out a study on how to overcome this water hyacinth problem,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily