Wednesday January 2, 2013
Govt mulling new bridge across Sarawak River to address traffic congestion
By CALVIN YEO
KUCHING: A new bridge linking Petra Jaya and the city centre may be built to address the immense city traffic congestion.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said although the building of the new bridge might involve a high cost, the state government had no choice but to think of a suitable way to reduce the traffic congestion.
“We know that the city has grown to become a bigger city. The number of its people has increased while houses and cars have also been on an increasing trend.
“Like it or not, we have to plan ahead to avoid the traffic congestion from getting worse,” Johari said when closing the Satok Fest here on New Year’s Eve.
According to him, the government is thinking of building another bridge to address the issue.
“This is part of the five-year plan that the state government has for the city,” he added.
Another plan, he revealed was that the state government had reached an agreement with its Federal counterpart to carry out a river beautification programme for Sarawak River and its tributaries next year.
He said three ministries namely, the Natural Resources and Environment, Resource Planning and Environment and Tourism Ministry, were parties to the agreement.
A committee consisting of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and Tourism Ministry, had been set up to oversee the programme, he added,
“We hope within the next five years, we could have a clean and attractive river which we can share with the international community.
“We plan to make Sarawak River a river of life in this area.
“Imagine during night time when we view the scenery of the riverbank with its beautiful landscape and lightings, I believe our city is comparable to Paris or Shanghai,” he said.
Johari said since 2013 would be the Visit Sarawak Year, the people from various backgrounds ought to showcase to the world the beauty of them living together harmoniously.
“We have to show to the rest of the world the harmony and peace in our state and our unique culture,” he said.
Johari also revealed that two environmentally-friendly boats running on batteries would soon be used on the river.
“We may be the first to use this environmentally-friendly boat. This is the transformation that we have undertaken to further popularise the city,” he added.