Padawan Road to be upgraded soon — Roland Sagah

Locality map of the proposed Padawan Road. Courtesy of JKR Sarawak.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, July 3: The narrow and winding 30km Padawan Road will be widened and straighten at a cost of RM70 million, revealed Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn.

Work for the first phase stretching 15km is scheduled to be tendered by the third quarter of this year. The remaining 15km is scheduled to be tendered out beginning 2020.

The whole project is expected to take two years to complete, said Sagah.

“The Padawan Road is part of an infrastructure network under the Outer Kuching Development Area, as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during the DBNA (Dayak Bidayuh National Association) aopen house recently.

“So, with better road connectivity, we can open up more land for agriculture and tourism. This will definitely benefit the locals from more than 20 villages along the road,” Sagah told DayakDaily here today.

Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn – file pic

The road project was approved by Abang Johari during his recent visit to Kampung Pichin, Serian, to officiate at the Authentic Gawai Dayak celebration.

The chief minister had said that the state government would have to take over the project if the federal government is unable to implement it.

“As requested by Tarat assemblyman Datuk Roland Sagah, we will provide the necessary funding if the federal government has no money for the project. We need to develop our areas for the benefit of the rakyat,” Abang Johari had said then.

Among the villages that stand to benefit are Kampung Mundai, Kampung Simpok, Kampung Sarig, Kampung Jambu, Kampung Peraya Peraya, Kampung Stabut, Kampung Teng Bukap, Kampung Gayu, Kampung Serumah, Kampung Krian, Kampung Sira, Kampung Pesang, Kampung Subang, Kampung Begu, Kampung Tatuk, Kampung Belimbing, Kampung Belimbing Kawa, Kampung Semaru, Kampung Dunuk, Kampung Bisira Rayang, Kampung Rudan, Kampung Bukit Nanas and Kampung Annah Rais.

Sagah disclosed that the existing Padawan Road is narrow, mountainous and winding as it was built in the 1950s by the Kuching Rural District Council (now Padawan Municipal Council (MPP).

“Padawan Road has seen much increase in traffic, especially with the implementation of agricultural projects such as palm oil schemes, implementation of Borneo Highlands Resort, Annah Rais Resort and other tourism projects and also an increase in urbanisation that result in higher travelling rates,” he said.

Sagah reiterated that the current road condition along the existing Padawan Road, which serves as the main access road connecting Padawan township with Teng Bukap, has deteriorated over time due to weathering and heavy traffic.

“Poor road condition has reduced the traffic movement speed along this road and caused embankment failure, threatening the safety of road users, especially motorcyclists,” he said, adding that the road would be upgraded to JKR R3 Standard.

He also explained that improvement works to existing junctions and associated drainage works of the road condition had also deteriorated over time due to weathering and heavy traffic.

“It requires immediate rehabilitation work as well as an upgrade to improve traffic movement and provide the road capacity to meet expected traffic demands in future.

“The importance of this road, which also serves as an alternative road to access Siburan and Serian areas, is undeniable. More lands will be developed as this area has huge potential that attracts investors, which in return will stimulate socio-economic growth within the region,” he stressed. — DayakDaily