By Lian Cheng and Ling Hui
SIBU, Oct 16: A blockade at one point along Ngemah-Temalat stretch of Kanowit-Kapit Road at certain hours has been the cause of traffic stagnation for road users.
Traffic stagnation has further caused vehicles to queue up, giving rise to the misconception that there is a traffic jam at the newly-opened Sibu-Kapit Road.
To look into the complaints of the public, DayakDaily journalists embarked on the journey to drive through the whole Sibu-Kapit Road to personally find out what has been going on.
From Sibu to Kapit, we only waited for five minutes at the blockade as we reached there at 12.00pm and the barricade was lifted at 12.05pm.
On our return trip from Kapit to Sibu, however, we were stuck at the mid point of Ngemah-Temalat stretch for over 40 minutes before the barricade was lifted and all cars were allowed to pass through where road-users resumed their journey.
That is the price to pay for travellers who opt for the use of the road while it is still partially under construction.
Should road-users or travellers then complain about the hold-up when a public statement has been issued to explain that Ngemah-Temalat stretch is only opened at certain hours?
Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR Sarawak) had issued a statement on Oct 6, 2020 indicating that the Ngemah-Temalat stretch along Kanowit-Kapit Road will be opened on a scheduled basis for public use.
JKR Sarawak stated that only one lane could be used (to and fro) for that stretch of the road as road construction is still ongoing and it will only be completed by Dec 1, 2020.
The department pointed out that presently, the stretch of road is at 88 per cent completion with three locations are still under construction.
It also clearly stated that that stretch of road is only opened from 6.30am to 8am, 12 noon to 1.30pm and 6pm to 9pm daily. JKR Sarawak took the opportunity to advise the public to always plan their journey and comply with the schedule.
Following the opening of the Ngemah-Tamalat stretch on Oct 8, Kapit is now directly linked to Sibu through land transport.
It has been observed that traffic along Sibu-Kapit Road has been quite dense with travellers commuting between the two towns as well as the other towns such as Song, Ngemah, Kanowit and other longhouse settlements in between.— DayakDaily