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By Jacob Achoi
KOTA SAMARAHAN, Oct 19: The Tambirat-Beliong ferry service crossing Batang Samarahan is expected to start operation early 2022, said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The ferry service, once in operation, will connect the five villages namely Kpg Beliong, Kpg Beradek, Kpg Sg Tanju, Kpg Lubok Kura, Kpg Sembilang and Kpg Tiang Api in Asajaya and Demak Laut constituencies.
At the moment connectivity to the villages is by boat.
Abdul Karim and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi today visited the site of the ramp project for the ferry service.
“For the project (ramp), construction at a cost of RM13 million, will commence either in February or March next year and will take about 12 months to complete, which means that the ferry service will start operational by early part of 2022,” Abdul Karim told reporters at the site.
The ferry service, according to him, will benefit the villages, which have a population of 2,000 and 200 vehicles and motorcycles, and who are mostly farmers to conveniently sell their jungle produce.
“At the moment, the farmers from the area are facing difficulties to market their agricultural produce, having to carry them to the boat and then to lorries.
“With the ferry service, which will have a capacity of 24 vehicles, they will conveniently just put them into the lorries,” the Asajaya assemblyman explained.
Abdul Karim also said the ferry service will give great convenience for visitors to a Chinese temple in the area.
He said the temple recorded about 30,000 visitors a year, including those from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and West Malaysia.
Abdul Karim hoped upgrading of the roads in the villages will start simultaneously with the ramp project to enable the villagers to drive vehicles to their respective villages.
“To build road infrastructure in the area, which I would say is the most least developed without road connectivity, it will come in five phases,” he said.
According to him, RM28 million is allocated under the current phase I (ramp project and upgrading of roads for Kpg Beliong and Kpg Lubok Kura.
For phase II, III, IV and V, it will involve a sum of RM2 million, RM80 million, RM1 million and RM12 million, respectively, he added.
He also said that the ferry service was a temporary measure before the government build a bridge, perhaps in the next five years. —DayakDaily