Ferry operating hours reduced statewide

Ferry crossings in interior Sarawak such as this one in ulu Baram in northern Sarawak will stop operating from 7pm to 7am daily.

MIRI: Stricter measures have to be implemented to prevent Covid-19 from spreading into ulu Sarawak.

Travelling access from urban to rural districts is being drastically reduced statewide.

Deputy State Assembly Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala said movement of people had to be limited.

“Travelling by road, air and river are being reduced significantly.

“Strict schedules to reduce access by ferries are also being imposed.

“All these are needed to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak.

“We cannot afford to let it spread into the ulu regions, ” said Gala, who is also Mulu assemblyman.

Ferry crossings across 12 major river tributaries throughout Sarawak saw their operations revised in line with the effort by the Government to more effectively enforce the movement control order.

Two ferry points have been closed down totally until further notice.

They are at Sungai Limbang (border of northern Sarawak with Brunei) and Sungai Krian (central Sarawak).

Ten other ferry stations will see their operating hours limited to 7am to 7pm daily.

These are at Sungai Rambungan, Sungai Lupar, Sungai Saribas, Sungai Paloh (in districts in southern Sarawak), Muara Lassa, Sungai Igan, Sungai Sian (in central Sarawak), Sungai Kemena, Sungai Lidam and Sungai Lawas (northern Sarawak).

They are no longer allowed to operate flexible hours before 7am and beyond 7pm like before.

State Public Works Department and state Rivers Board notified the contractors operating these ferry services about the change in hours.

“The revision of operating hours is in line with the Government’s directive, ” said the notices.

Written public notices have been placed at all these ferry points.

Thousands of people living in rural and semi-rural districts of Sarawak use ferry services to connect with the outside world.

These rivers are still without bridges at many points.

The ferries play a vital role in helping people as well as transport cars, motorcycles, cargo lorries, industrial trucks and fuel tankers to get from one bank to the other.

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