Works on Bekenu booster station to be completed this year

JBALB Sarawak northern region manager Tie Tung Ing (fourth left) briefs Awang Tengah about the progress of the project.

MIRI: The construction of the RM14-million Bekenu booster station and Tiris high-level water tank are expected to reach completion within this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state government’s project was slightly delayed due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to Covid-19.

“However, the contractor has agreed that the booster station can be completed within these three months,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the three projects in Bekenu at the Subis District Office yesterday.

Awang Tengah, who is Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources, said based on the initial schedule, the booster project was supposed to be completed next month.

He stressed that the booster station was very important to overcome the low water pressure issue faced by Bekenu folk in areas such as Kampung Siwak Terahad, the Immigration Depot, Kuala Sibuti and Bekenu.

Meanwhile, he said the RM26.9-million water supply rehabilitation project involving water pipe installation, should reach completion next month.

He said the state government would carry out more water supply improvement efforts for Sibuti such as pipe extensions and increasing the water plant’s capacity.

Awang Tengah said the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) had a comprehensive long-term plan for water supply, and it had tabled priority projects to be proposed for the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

In terms of electricity, he said Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) strove to enhance electricity supply to Sibuti, following frequent supply interruptions affecting the area.

He said SEB had also implemented projects under the Additional or Late Applicant Funds (Alaf) programme to equip rural areas with power supply, in line with Sarawak’s target to achieve 100 per cent electricity coverage by 2025.

On street-lighting, he agreed with Assistant Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus’ suggestion for street-lighting to be installed at the village junctions for the safety of all road users.

He said the work to install the streetlights in Rosey’s constituency of Bekenu would be conducted in phases.

On the proposal to implement Phase II of the Sibuti Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), Awang Tengah said he supported the concept of extending the functions of the centre to various services such as education with a proposed kindergarten, multipurpose hall, gymnasium, and youth activities centre.

He also suggested integrating the proposed Phase II RTC with a handicrafts centre for the locals to market their products.

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