Sarawak plans to connect gas directly to households across state

Dr Rundi (seated, centre) speaking at a press conference held on the sidelines of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly today (July 16, 2018).

KUCHING, July 16: The state government is looking into the possibility of connecting gas supply directly to households statewide one day, just like what Miri city folk are enjoying right now.

Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi said Bintulu should be the next place to have such a facility.

“In future, that should be the way. It is a long-term plan (to connect gas supply to households) … just like water and electricity. Bintulu, especially, deserves that facility.

“Our concern is the safety and some others (aspects). Before it (gas supply to households) can go statewide, we first have to look thoroughly on how to protect our consumers from this hazard (aspect of it),” he told a press conference on the sidelines of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting today.

Currently, there are no inbuilt facilities for gas supply to be directly connected to houses, unlike for water, electricity and telecommunication, he said.

“It (gas supply facility) should be part of the planning for housing, which they have not done yet,” said Dr Rundi.

On water supply, he said the state government had agreed to allocate RM8 billion for the statewide Water Supply Grid System, with RM2 billion to be provided under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).

He said the present water problems had been due to inherent defects in the overall system, which had not been addressed over the years due to limited funds. The issues included inadequate raw water resources, old water treatment plants with inadequate capacities, overloading of treatment plants to meet increasing water demands, paging and leaking water mains, and water tanks.

“In order to effectively resolve all these perennially recurring issues, all these root causes must be addressed holistically. That is what my ministry intends to do under the Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme,” he said.

A total of 222 projects had been identified for implementation under the RM2 billion Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme — the Stressed Areas.

These projects would involve raw water source, treatment plant, distribution network system, improvement works, pipe replacement, non-revenue management, modernisation initiatives and Sarawak Alternative Rural Water Supply (Sawas). They are to be completed by 2020.

Dr Rundi said in 2015, his office had identified 2,639 villages across the state that cannot be supplied through the main water grid. These settlements would be supplied with treated or safe water under the Sawas programme, which is estimated to cost RM7.4 billion. — DayakDaily