MELAKA: Melaka is set to spearhead the connection of a pipeline to channel water supply from Blue Lake in Chinchin, Jasin to Durian Tunggal Dam following the Federal Government’s move to write off loans for rural water projects.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari said the decision by Putrajaya was seen as a major boost for the state to embark on the RM23mil pipe project to address water shortage in the state.
“We currently owe RM900mil to the Federal Government and with the latest decision by Putrajaya, the amount we owe has reduced to RM143,000.
“We can now use the surplus allocation to lay the pipes from Blue Lake to Durian Tunggal Dam,” he said after launching the Hari-Raya road safety campaign at Ayer Keroh.
The event was organised by the state Road Transport Department (JPJ) and various non-governmental organisations.
On May 27, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the loans given to state governments for rural water supply projects from 2001 onward will be written off.
The loan was based on the balance that had not been settled as of Dec 31, 2018, with the total amounting to RM3.8bil, which was subject to the state government finalising the restructuring of water supply by Dec 31 at the latest.
In future, the rural water supply project would no longer be financed in the form of soft loans from the Federal Government but allocated in the form of a grant under regulations of the Rural Development Ministry.
Adly said the state government would prudently manage its revenues to efficiently repay the sum owed to Putrajaya.
“We will also use the annual collection of RM5mil generated from tax on four and five-star hotels here to further boost the local tourism industry,” he added.
Earlier, Adly presented a second-hand motorcycle to school gardener, Mohamad Sham, 44 during the event.
The motorcycle was a gift from The Two Wheeler Association of Melaka to enable Mohamad Sham to commute to work.
Meanwhile, state JPJ director Muhammad Firdaus Sharif said his team had eight road safety strategies to ensure a smooth balik kampung exodus during this Hari Raya.
He said among the strategies were meeting with bus operators and intensifying patrols along the Melaka stretch of North-South Expressway as well as trunk roads in the state.
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