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‘Work on Sarawak-Sabah link road to start by yearend’

MIRI: Work on the Sarawak-Sabah link road connecting upper Baram in Miri to Limbang and Long Semadoh in Lawas will start as early as end of this year.

Works Minister Baru Bian said the construction of the road, described as good news for the people living in the interior, would provide road access and ease of accessing basic facilities such as health and education in the urban centres.

He said the ministry was still assessing the costs and details including the length (of the road), which would be finalised and revealed when the time comes.

“The construction of the road has been discussed and agreed upon at the ministry’s level. We have just begun the initial stage by visiting areas along the proposed road stretch.

“We hope that the construction of the road will be accelerated. Construction may begin end of this year or the latest the beginning of next year,” he told a press conference after a session with Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) station here yesterday.

Baru added that the road would provide shorter access to people travelling between Miri and Lawas.

“It will also provide alternative route for the people, especially those who come down from the interior areas.

“This whole thing about actual travel distance and time will be revealed after the road has been completed.”

He said the road would also benefit Petronas in terms of access and maintenance because it would be built alongside their Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) route.

“Areas along the road also have great potential in eco-tourism, agro-tourism and the rural industries. The area also has other attractions such as the three highest mountains in Sarawak, namely, Mount Lawi, Mount Mulu and Mount Murut, two national parks – Pulung Tau and Mount Buda which have much historical significance,” he said.

Areas along the route are also regarded as among the most fertile in Sarawak.

“We have planted apples and Adan Rice in Ba Kelalan, Bario Rice in Bario, and also pineapples everywhere.

“With vast land to be turned into agricultural land, coupled with the road later, we will be able to bring our local products into the wider market.”

Baru is now on a four-day visit until today (Friday) to the interior areas here, including Long Lama, Long Bedian, Long Kevok and Long Panai. The visit is arranged by his ministry.

Besides visiting these places, Baru also wanted to see for himself the difficulties the locals have to face when travelling from their villages to the nearest towns.

Source: Borneo Post