Dr Wee asks why road upgrade costs have more than doubled in Budget 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: An MP queries why project cost for road upgrades under Budget 2024 has increased by at least 136% compared to the year before.

In directing his question to the works Ministry, Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said under Budget 2023 it cost RM525mil to upgrade a 20km stretch of road between Senai Utara and Sedenak.

However, under Budget 2024, it cost RM931mil to upgrade a 15km-stretch from Sedenak to Simpang Renggam, Johor.

"This means that under Budget 2023, about RM26.26mil was spent per kilometre.

"But under Budget 2024, the government will spend a total of RM62mil per kilometre.

What is the difference in job scope? Why did the cost increase by 136%? The distance is shorter but it is more expensive," he said in Parliament on Wednesday (Nov 15).

He also expressed concern that the government would have to allocate more money to upgrade roads this year.

"Is the Works Ministry prepared to spend another RM2.8bil in stages to complete the existing Skudai to Yong Peng road?" he asked in Parliament when debating the 2024 Supply Bill for the Works Ministry.

He also thanked the government for widening the roads from Segamat to Labis, but urged the Works Ministry to give special attention to the last phase near Desa Temu Jodoh, Chaah.

"This is specifically for my constituency. The last part missing is at the Desa Temu Jodoh, Chaah for Ayer Hitam town, which requires about RM150mil. I hope that this matter can be considered," he said.

Dr Wee thanked the government for allocating RM250mil to widen the road and create a U-turn junction from Parit Raja to Ayer Hitam.

However, he said during construction, some street and traffic lights were damaged.

"There have been four car accidents in Ayer Hitam within a period of three weeks due to the road upgrade projects as there are no traffic lights.

"It is one of the top five most dangerous roads and we need to address the issue immediately," he said.

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