By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Sept 12: The “missing link” road infrastructure between Sibu and Kapit, conntecting Nanga Ngungun-Song, will be completed in August next year.
Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said Kapit will no longer be cut off from the rest of Sarawak, in terms of road connectivity, once the missing link is completed.
“Once the road is completed, it will take only one-and-a-half hours to travel from Sibu to Kapit. It means Kapit will not be an island anymore,” Masing told DayakDaily.
Construction of the 9.6km Ng Ngungun-Song Road started a year ago and at present, it is 60 per cent completed and ahead of schedule.
Masing, who is also deputy chief minister, said to prevent travellers from using the road before completion, a stretch of 200 metres were purposely “left behind” (from construction).
“We are stopping people from using the road because its usage of may affect the construction works and disrupt its progress. While it is under construction, we worry that accidents might happen (at the road stretch), then we will have problems,” he explained.
Masing, who inspected the stretch of road yesterday, said there is already a logging road parallel to Ng Ngungun-Song Road, which travellers have been using.
“On average, there are 100 vehicles using the logging road daily. During weekends, there are some 200 to 300 vehicles traveling on this road and during festive seasons, there are a lot more.
“Since we are prohibiting travellers from using the Ng Ngungun-Song Road that is under construction, we understand that travellers need the logging road, so we are also upgrading some stretches of the logging road to allow people to commute between Sibu to Kapit.”
Masing said he used the logging road yesterday to travel from Sibu to Kapit and it took him two-and-a-half hours.
“However, we discourage travellers who are not familiar with logging roads from using it. The terrain is quite rough. During dry season, it is still okay but it can be treacherous during rainy season.
“Furthermore, there are certain unwritten rules to observe when using logging roads. So those who are not familiar with these rules, please do not use the logging road,” Masing advised.
The total length of road linking Sibu to Kapit is about 110km. Prior to the logging road, riverine towns of Song and Kapit can only be reached by river transport.
During low tide when express boats can’t manouvre through the Rajang River, Kapit can even be cut off from other parts of Sarawak. This has led to Kapit, an interior upriver town being referred to as “an island”. — DayakDaily