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Published: Monday February 1, 2010 MYT 1:27:00 PM

Sarawak to get RM3.4b under infrastructure NKRA

SIBU: Sarawak is to receive RM1.7bil to build and upgrade roads and another RM1.7bil to implement power supply projects under the National Key Results Area (NKRA) pertaining to improving basic infrastructure in the rural areas.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said here the state would also get RM9mil to implement projects for the supply of treated water.

Speaking to reporters after attending a development briefing for the Lanang constituency given by its member of parliament, Datuk Tiong Thai King, Sunday night, he said the state would also get RM100mil for housing.

Mohd Shafie acknowledged that it was 10 times more expensive to implement infrastructure projects in Sarawak compared to the peninsula due to the difficult terrain and soft soil in many places.

“For instance, in road construction, contractors will have to deal with the soft soil condition in most places. They will have to do piling for the roads to be sustainable. They will need to send their machinery and material over long distances and difficult terrain, which will add to the cost,” he said.

In implementing power supply projects in the interior areas of both Sarawak and Sabah, it was estimated that about 40 million metres of cable would be needed, he said, adding that it would be a daunting task to obtain such supply.

On the maintenance of rural roads, he said the Government would have to come up with a mechanism whereby timber companies, which ran their trucks on such roads, would be asked to help meet part of the maintenance cost.

Mohd Shafie is scheduled to conclude his three-day visit to the Sarawak interior Monday with a visit to an Iban longhouse, Rh Melitang, in Sungai Gaat, Balleh, about seven hours by boat from Kapit town. -- Bernama

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