KUCHING, June 13: Pan Borneo Highway maintenance works must be returned to the Public Works Department (JKR), opines Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing.
According to Tiong, initially, the Pan Borneo Highway was under the management of Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU), before it was taken over by the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) after the contractor was found to have breached contract guidelines and specifications.
“The project’s safety and construction procedures were reviewed and the situation improved after JKR inspected the problems that plagued several road sections. However, once the project management was returned to the contractor a few months ago, the same issues started to return,” he said in a statement.
Tiong asserted the Pan Borneo Highway is still plagued by uneven surfaces and unsafe construction practices.
He claimed the inconvenience and hazard posed to road users have culminated in a fatal car accident and lives were lost due to preventable human negligence.
“Of course, all parties will immediately shirk their responsibilities with many excuses to deflect blame. Some quarters have even had the cheek to blame me.
“While the road surface had been damaged by constant traffic, the condition had been well known to be severely uneven from before. Drivers who are not familiar with the potholes and caved-in sections, could easily be affected by these hazards and ram into a road divider if they are not fixed,” added Tiong.
He alleged safety precautions were not in place and that today’s situation is even worse compared to before JKR took over.
Tiong also urged all the relevant authorities to review the contractor’s contract immediately.
“Too many chances have been given to LBU but with no results,” he said. — DayakDaily