Lee: Pontoon Wharf Temple Street to get new jetty structure

Lee inspecting the almost sinking RC pontoon.

SIBU, Jan 8: A new jetty will be built at the existing R.C (reinforced concrete) Pontoon Wharf Temple Street here.

Transport Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Shin said this during a site inspection today that the project is a long-term solution to the poor facility at the wharf.

“As promised, I am very glad to announce that for a long-term solution, a new jetty structure is to be built at the existing R.C Pontoon Wharf Temple Street, Sibu. The appointment of Consultant and tendering process for the appointment of the contractor has been done in accordance with the procedures by SRB (Sarawak Rivers Board),” he said.

The appointment of the contractor, Syarikat Shar Permata for this purpose is done through an open tender process.

The project he said is expected to be completed in six months time. During this period, all Kapal Bandung will be relocated to berth at R.C Burung Apuh cargo wharf for loading and unloading activities.

The project came about following a complaint lodged by Persatuan Kapal Bandung Sibu in early 2020 that four out of seven pontoons are partially submerged at R.C Pontoon Wharf Temple Street.

“These conditions are due to the wear and tear over the years as well as having passed their economic life,” said Lee.

During the planning stage for the new project, some immediate repair works have been carried out on the facilities, particularly the pontoon’s joint, fenders and steel rope ties. A Safety notice to remind the public to take necessary safety precaution at the facilities has been erected.

The minister said since the formation of his ministry on August 22, 2019, it has been working closely with SRB, the agency under its purview that is responsible to manage and monitor the development of riverine facilities such as passenger’s terminal, wharves and jetties in the State.

“The Ministry found that some of the existing riverine facilities under SRB are in a dire condition which requires repair and renewal works to be carried out in order to maintain its commercial and safe for use condition,” he said.

The Ministry has also received complaints from the users and operators of river transport informing the condition of existing facilities which needs the attention from the authority. Some are in a really bad condition which may compromise the safety and confidence of the users.

“All these while, SRB has been monitoring closely the physical condition of these facilities and has taken the necessary measures to ensure the affected pontoons are operational and can be used by the public,” he pointed out.

Among measures taken included daily pumping water out of the pontoons to reduce stress on the pontoons, scheduled inspection on the freeboard of pontoons and monitored boats operating and alongside the pontoons. DayakDaily