Sunday October 21, 2012
It’s a costly undertaking
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: It is expensive to build new roads in Sarawak cities and towns because of the additional cost of acquiring private land.
Assistant Communications Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who pointed this out yesterday, said the Government therefore had to pay a lot to decongest traffic in these places.
He cited the Kuala Baram-Permyjaya-Pujut Corner road as an example, for which the Government might have to pay up to RM20mil as compensation to the affected landowners.
“These areas are getting very congested with more and more housing projects being implemented,” he said when interviewed after declaring open a new 2.4km road and a highway traffic system costing more than RM6mil at a road junction in front of Miri Hospital.
“In order to solve the traffic congestion, we have to build the road and then a bridge across the Miri River.”
Lee, who is also Senadin assemblyman, said that sometimes a road project could not start immediately because negotiation concerning land compensation took time.
He, therefore, urged the public to understand why there were occasional delays.
“Nonetheless, we will always try to get the negotiations done as fast as we can so that important roads can be completed as soon as possible,” he said.
“My office and the Public Works Department (JKR) monitor these projects very regularly. So far, we have made sure that such road projects here are on schedule.”
Lee then pointed out that the Government built new roads not just during election time.