KUCHING: A major RM20mil project is under way to improve the drainage of the heavily polluted Bintangor River here.
The project, funded by the Federal Government, would help improve the river water quality when it is completed by September 2005, said state Tourism Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Illegal dumping of commercial and household wastes into the river have badly polluted it.
“The river banks will be beautified and developed for recreational activities,” Abang Johari said when performing the project’s earth-breaking ceremony on Saturday.
He said the success of the project could make it the model to rehabilitate other Sarawak rivers like Sungai Maong and Sungai Padungan, which showed tourism potential.
He said the 650m Bintangor River, which flows through traditional Malay settlements, would be linked to the proposed extension project of the Kuching Waterfront.
The extension would stretch from the existing wet market in Gambier Street to the Brooke dockyard next to the old state mosque.
He said the traditional Malay houses along the river could attract tourists cruising the river in perahu tambang (river taxis), which would need to be refurbished for foreign tourists to use.