Masing to Baru: Upgrade Ba’Kelalan Road to highway standard

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, August 22: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing today challenged Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian to upgrade Ba’Kelalan Road to a highway standard now that he is Works Minister.

In the meantime, Masing advised See Chee How, the newly appointed special officer to the Works Ministry, to monitor the Ba’Kelalan Road as the state government had dumped roughly RM40 million to upgrade and gravel this former Jiwa Murni initiative.

“So I do hope they (Baru and See) don’t ‘kacau’ the roads that have been planned by the Sarawak government. Instead, they should get more funding from the federal government to improve road connectivity in other parts of Sarawak where there are still no roads yet,” said Masing to DayakDaily today.

Meanwhile, Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, revealed that his ministry had allocated RM1 million to upgrade the 9.6km former timber road from Nanga Temalat to Song to ease the mobility of the people while waiting for a permanent road to be completed in a few years’ time.

The remaining stretch of about 12km of the logging road would be maintained by Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, which has a plantation in the area.

“We are putting in RM1 million to improve the abandoned 9.6km of timber road from Kanowit to Song. During the current dry weather, the road is okay. But when it’s raining, it could be slippery and muddy. So, with the allocation, we hope the stretch would be usable even during rainy days,” said Masing.

The 84.6km Kanowit-Kapit Road costing RM757 million is expected to be completed in three years’ time. The project is being implemented in phases and all of them have been completed, except for the remaining two sections: the 9.6km Jalan Nanga Ngemah/Nanga Temalat and the 5.2km Nanga Ngungun Bypass.

Currently, the road from Kanowit has reached Nanga Ngungun, which is about 30km away. From there, the remaining 5.2km of the Nanga Ngungun Bypass would connect it with Song.

From the Kapit side, the remaining 9.6km Jalan Nanga Ngemah/Nanga Temalat would connect it to Song via the Katibas Bridge.

In all, there are 15 bridges in the whole project, with three major ones over Sungai Kanowit, Sungai Katibas and Sungai Yong. — DayakDaily