SIBU, Nov 27: The Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) has been urged to repair the two unsafe pontoons at the riverfront next to Tua Pek Kong Temple here.
These pontoons are specially for use by double-decker tongkang or barge plying between Sibu to Kapit and Song for the loading and unloading of goods.
A Sibu-Kapit barge operator who wished to be identified only as Kong, 69, said these pontoons which are more than 50 years, pose dangers to them.
“These pontoons were previously used in Sarikei. When riverine transport ceased operation due to the town being connected to other places by roads, the pontoons were sent to this town for use,” he said.
Kong said after decades of use, the pontoons are not only slippery but are also prone to sinking.
“We are using the pontoons every day. Our deckhands have to load and unload goods to the barge. We are worried over their safety as the pontoons are slippery.
“In addition to that some of the tyres, tied to the sides of the pontoon are either in poor condition or have dropped into the water,” he said.
Instead of building a new one, he proposed that it would be much better to repair them.
“A board member of SRB, Datuk Chieng Buong Toon had told us that they would be building a new one for us. We believe that a new one will not be that soon as we were not told of the timeframe,” he said. — DayakDaily