Temple St jetty completed after delays due to MCO

Melati (right) receiving the certificate from Morni while Lee (centre) and others look on.

SIBU, Sept 29: The new jetty at the existing reinforced concrete (RC) pontoon wharf along Temple Street is now ready for use.

Transport Minister, Datuk Lee Khim Shin told the media at the handing over of certificate of practical completion of the project, that due to Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO), the project was completed 50 days behind schedule.

“Due to the pandemic and MCO, the contractor was not allowed to work or with a reduction of 50 per cent workforce on the ground in compliance with the SOP (standard operating procedure) enforced by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to control the further spread of the virus,”he said.

Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB), Lee revealed, had granted the contractor’s application for a total of 50 days’ extension time.

“Despite all the challenges, the contractor had successfully completed all scope of works in accordance with the contract specifications. The actual completion date of this project was on September 5,” he said.

Lee disclosed the project which cost RM862,182 was fully funded by the State government through SRB.

Lee said the new jetty, which has a lifespan of 50 years, is safer, more reliable and convenient for the shipping and riverine communities as well as the general public.

“It is also a long-term solution to the existing facility particularly physical conditions of the pontoons which are partially submerged due to the wear and tear over the years and also passed their economic lifespan. This is among the State government’s initiatives to provide safe, efficient and convenient facilities for the benefit of the rakyat,” he added.

He however wanted the contractor to improve the safety of the jetty by covering up the gap between each pontoon and redoing the step between the jetty and the pontoon to make it at the same level.

The existing RC pontoon wharf along Temple Street, was built in 1970 as a passenger boat landing facility covering sectors downriver of Sibu town for Batang Rajang and Batang Igan which formed part of State’s Inland Waterways Transport network.

It was subsequently changed to cater to the needs for Double Decker Bandung vessels operation to transport goods and necessities from Sibu to the interior towns such as Ng Dap, Ngemah, Song, Kapit and also downriver to coastal towns or villages along Batang Rajang.

It also served the same purpose for the Sibu–Dalat sector. It was also used by passenger boats which provide short river crossing trip for the Sibu–Kampung Engkilo sector.

Until today, this facility is still actively being used by 10 Double Decker Bandung vessel and two passenger boats.

The ceremony witnessed the owner of the contractor, Syarikat Shar Permata, Melati Mos Sampa receiving the certificate of completion from SRB chairman, Morni Suhaili. — DayakDaily