MIRI: The project to construct hundreds of kilometres of transmission towers to channel electricity from the Bakun hydro-electric dam in central Sarawak to the rest of the state has begun in earnest.
The massive transmission towers will carry the power cables which will send electricity from the dam in the Kapit division — in the heart of central Sarawak — to the Bintulu division along the coastal belt of central Sarawak and then southwards to the Kuching division.
The last transmission tower will be in the southernmost tip of Kuching where it will meet the undersea cable which will be laid to transmit the electricity from Bakun all the way to the southern shores of Johor for onward distribution to the rest of Peninsular Malaysia.
From Bakun to the tip of southern Sarawak, the cables will be more than 800km long.
The first part of this huge project to construct the towers has kicked off in the vicinity of the RM6bil Bakun dam, in areas next to the main dam wall.
Two days ago, local politicians in Kapit and officials from the Sarawak Energy Bhd (the main body that will oversee the construction of the towers) visited the natives in Uma Sambop, a longhouse occupied by the Kayans and Kenyahs, and held a sacrificial peace offering ceremony to ensure ‘’safe and trouble-free’’ construction of the towers.
According to a source, many native landowers had been asked to sign agreements with the state authorities to allow their land to be used to build the towers.
Environmental watchdog group Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia said the natives must be informed how much land would be acquired for the building of the towers and whether any compensation would be paid to those affected.
Its coordinator for Sarawak Raymond Abin said he would try to get more information from the natives on the actual route.