By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, May 7: The Housing Ministry, through the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), has been allocated RM108.55 million to implement 493 units of Rumah SPEKTRA Permata (RSP).
Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the projects will cover areas in Kuching, Mukah, Kapit and Limbang. The Ministry planned to deliver these housing units within the next two years.
The state government has also announced to build 2,500 units of RSP throughout Sarawak to assist the lower income group (B40) and medium income group (M40) to owning a house.
The Batu Kawah assemblyman added that there are two approved federally funded projects in 2017, which are now in progress namely, Program Perumahan Rakyat Landeh, Padawan, consisting of 443 units of apartments and Program Perumahan Rakyat Petra Jaya in Kuching, which consists of 208 units of single storey terrace houses.
“Both projects are scheduled for completion by 2020. Housing is in the concurrent list of the Federal Constitution. Therefore, my ministry will continue to pursue for more funding from the federal government to build more affordable housing for the B40 group in Sarawak,” he said when delivering his ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here yesterday.
Dr Sim said the Sarawak government is also committed in solving the squatters problem. In this regard, Jawatankuasa Pengurusan dan Penyelesaian Setinggan Negeri (JPPSN) has been formed in 2010.
To date, the government has successfully reduced the number of squatter households from 9,760 in 2010 to 4,500 households, or a reduction of 54 per cent, through resettlement under various housing schemes such as Program Perumahan Rakyat, Skim Penempatan Semula, Skim Pembesaran Kampung and also in-situ settlement under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code.
The ministry, in collaboration with the Statistics Department, is looking to obtain more information on housing needs for squatters through the upcoming 2020 National Census.
Dr Sim said the federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government had allocated RM30.34 million for all the 26 local authorities in Sarawak to carry out 106 minor infrastructure projects. The state also received RM3.16 million to implement 211 house repair projects throughout Sarawak.
Touching on development projects and programmes under local authorities for this year, he said the state government (under the 11th Malaysia Plan) has approved RM81.58 million to implement 303 infrastructure projects comprising street lightings, traffic lights, footpaths, public toilets, libraries, jetties and recreational parks.
Under the Cabinet Committee for Rural Transformation, Dr Sim said his Ministry has received RM13.1 million this year for 11 flood mitigation projects. One project has been completed, seven scheduled to complete this year and the remaining three are expected completion by 2020.
Under the Malaysian Road Record Information System (MARRIS) for maintenance of roads and road furniture, road verges including side drains, he added that a total of RM322.6 million has been approved for the local authorities. As in March 31, RM141.3 million has been disbursed by State Financial Secretary, out of which RM24.8 million has been spent.
Dr Sim said the federal government has allocated RM14.7 million for flood and riverbank protection works. The allocation was for flood mitigation projects, riverbank protection works, river clearing and maintenance in the State.
The minister said the state Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) will a flood forecasting and warning system for Sungai Sarawak and Batang Rajang under the Flood Forecasting and Warning Programme. The project is currently in the design stage and will cost RM24.6 million. — DayakDaily