No water price hikes, affirms Rundi

Seen are (seated front left to right) Alice, Rundi, Nelson and others at the function.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, July 6: The Sarawak government has no intention of increasing water tariffs in the state, Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom reiterated today.

“We will find ways to look into other revenue for Sarawak, apart from improving our delivery systems to the rakyat,” he pointed out.

When disclosing this during a press conference after witnessing the handing over of duties ceremony for the new Laku Management Sdn Bhd chairman here today, he said that the state government has increased allocations for improving water supply systems statewide from an initial RM2.8 billion to RM4 billion.

“The ministry (Utilities Ministry) wants to make sure that the masterplans (water supply projects) are in place. Some might experience delays because of the lockdown following Covid-19 pandemic, but now everything reinstated,” he explained.

Also present were Laku’s new chairman Datuk Nelson Balang Rining, the Utilities Ministry’s permanent secretary Datuk Alice Jawan and Miri mayor Adam Yii.

Rundi also expressed his concerns over treated water supply to rural or remote areas in the state.

“We want to expedite our coverage by the year 2025, so that rural folks will be able to consume clean and treated water supply, and I will ensure that Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (Sawas) will look into this matter because we do not want people in the rural area left behind … this is our direction,” he stressed.

Aware that many people, especially netizens, are skeptical about the programme, Rundi gave assurance and expressed confidence that the objective will be achieved.

“The ministry has been given the task to deliver and we will make sure to achieve our target,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, on the Batang Baram River raw water transfer to Bakong plant project, Rundi disclosed that the project is still on, despites experiencing some delays.

“The project is one of our 322 projects under the masterplan, and the 8th for this division, but due to some delays, the dateline for completion has shifted toward the end of 2021,” he added. — DayakDaily