Major bridge project aims to link all areas in Mukah

Posted on : 13 Sep 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Abang Johari, with Masing at right, manoeuvres the control stick to perform the groundbreaking for the bridge project at Batang Igan. Also with the Chief Minister on stage are (front, from left) Awang Tengah, Fatimah and Julaihi.

MUKAH: The RM285-million Batang Igan bridge is set to connect areas across Mukah division to other parts of Sarawak once all the works have reached completion, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the structure would stretch 1.3km across Batang Igan and once operational, it would not only connect the villages, longhouses and other areas within Mukah, but also highlight their potential in agriculture and fish-farming development.

Abang Johari said the Batang Igan bridge project was planned when Barisan National (BN) was helming the federal government.

“Pakatan Harapan (PH) cancelled the project when they took over the government, so the state government under GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) made a decision to take over this project,” he said in a press conference held after the launch ceremony at the bridge project site near here yesterday.

Abang Johari said the Batang Igan bridge was among nine major bridge projects in Sarawak set for completion by 2024.

The other eight sites are Batang Rambungan, Batang Lupar, Batang Saribas, Batang Krian, Batang Rajang, Batang Paloh, Batang Lassa, and Batang Kemena.

Adding on, the Chief Minister said all these nine bridges would be toll-free.

“The late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem (fifth chief minister of Sarawak) had said that all bridges to be built in Sarawak should be toll-free,” he added.

Abang Johari also regarded the Batang Igan bridge as a vital component to the state’s coastal road connectivity linking Daro and Mukah.

“This will ensure smoother connectivity along the coastal road network by eliminating long waiting time for the ferry service.

“The GPS-led government is committed to fulfilling this promise and working hard towards ensuring that all Sarawakians would benefit from it.

“I am also determined to develop the rural areas in Sarawak and provide them with basic infrastructures such as electricity and water supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said under the Coastal Road Network Connectivity programme slated for Mukah Division, the state government had allocated RM1.2 billion for the construction of three major bridges to replace the existing ferry services there.

In this respect, he regarded the development of the bridges at Batang Paloh, Muara Lassa and Batang Igan as ‘signs of more good things to come for Mukah Division’.

Masing, who is also the Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development, added that the coastal road development, upon its completion, would shorten the travelling time between Daro and Mukah to just one hour and 45 minutes, from the current three hours including the waiting time for the ferries to cross Batang Igan.

On Mukah’s new airport project, Masing said this together with the future direct road linking Sibu and Igan, would further enhance the connectivity to and from Mukah.

“This would boost socio-economic development in Mukah Division which ultimately, would benefit the ‘rakyat’ (people),” he pointed out.

Masing also highlighted the state government’s allocation of RM6 billion slated for 12 projects under Second Trunk Road programme.

“With these massive infrastructure undertakings, Sarawak is one step closer towards realising the dream of it becoming among the most developed states in Malaysia by 2030,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan; Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah who is Dalat assemblywoman; and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi were among those witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony.