PETALING JAYA: A 38km road linking Kampung Menjawah and the Bakun hydro dam to Belaga in Sarawak will be opened in August.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said with the land route, residents in the interior need not rely on the rivers to travel.
The road will provide access to seven long houses - Rumah Nyaving, Rumah Apan, Rumah Long Mitik, Rumah Long Segaham, Rumah Panjang Lahanan, Rumah Panjang Kajaman and Rumah Panjang Makahei.
“The tarred road is one of four road projects in Sarawak's interior, under the Malaysian Armed Forces' (MAF) Jiwa Murni project," Hishammuddin said in a statement.
The RM56mil project is a joint venture by local authorities and MAF engineers, and funded by Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister's Department in line with the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS).
In Belaga, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the upgrading of Menjawah-Belaga road with an allocation of RM50mil to include a bridge linking Belaga town. Another long-term solution is to jump start the construction of the 400km Sibu-Kapit road estimated to cost about RM700mil.
Zahid believed this project should go on to prevent future river mishap such as the capsizing of the ferry boat, some 30km from Belaga town, on Balui River on Tuesday.
Hulu Rajang MP Wilson Ugak Kumbong shared with The Star his appreciation of the construction of Sibu-Kapit road.
"We welcome this news and we thank Datuk Seri Zahid and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib for their empathy shown to locals living in this area where river is the only means to connect from one place to another," said Ugak whose home in Mujong Baleh is also accessible only by river transport.
The Hulu Rajang parliamentary seat covers an area as big as Pahang but minus the infrastructures and logistics like roads and other basic amenities.