State wants Temalat-Ngemah bypass to be completed asap

Masing (centre, facing front) being welcomed by the crowd upon arrival at the Katibas bridge yesterday. Following behind him is Nanta.

SONG: The state has requested the federal government to accelerate the construction of the 15km bypass road connecting Temalat, Song to Ngemah, Kanowit.

Once completed, the bypass together with the Song-Kapit road which is under construction and is expected to be completed end of this year, will finally properly connect Kapit to Song by road.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said the most critical part of the bypass involves a 9.6km stretch, for which the construction has been tendered.

“I was told by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development that an allocation of RM150 million for the 15km bypass is already here,” he told reporters after visiting the recently completed Katibas bridge yesterday.

Masing (sixth right), Nanta (fifth right) and others pose for a group photo at the Katibas bridge.

Masing who is also the Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation said if the tender is awarded in October this year, the whole road would only be completed in three years’ time.

He added that the residents of Kapit and Song could not afford to wait for such a long time for the full completion of the 87km Kapit-Song-Kanowit road.

The minister highlighted that the people in Kapit and Song are currently using a 21km-long logging track and oil palm road to travel between Ngemah and Kanowit. Thus, he suggested that the state and federal governments allocate funds to improve the road to make it safer for people to use while the new road is being completed.

He also pointed out the relative futility of having the Kanowit and Katibas bridges if the 9.6km stretch of the Temalat-Ngemah bypass is also not completed.

Also present yesterday were Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development and Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Kanowit MP Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, Katibas assemblyman Datuk Ambrose Blikau Enturan, Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat, Machan assemblyman Allan Siden Gramong and Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang.