Tuesday August 21, 2012
New township proposed near Baram dam
KUCHING: A new township has been proposed to be set up near the site of the Baram dam.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mah-mud said the township would resolve the resettlement issue while at the same time develop the socioeconomy of the people there.
He said he foresaw the proposed new township becoming a focal point for people travelling from nearby towns and Miri city.
During the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday, Taib told reporters that once the new township had been established, it would attract more people to come to Baram, thus help to bring the socioeconomy of the area to a new level.
“We don’t want any part of our country to be empty. If our country is empty what should we do? Just leave it empty?
“There are many people, especially the opposition, talking about how it (development) would destroy the environment, but they are not really looking at the bigger picture. They are not looking after the interest of the people there,” said Taib.
Taib stressed that the building of the Baram dam would further benefit the economy of the rural people there and that by setting up the township, the rural people had every chance to free themselves from the shackles of poverty.
He said the government was also in the midst of studying how to bring in the pulp and paper industry into the Baram area to further boost the growth of the proposed township.
“If there is no dam, it would not be easy to develop the areas there,” said Taib, adding that feasibility studies had been completed for the proposed township.
He said by next year a more detailed study would be carried out, particularly regarding the re-settlement of the people displaced by the construction of the dam.