Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rajang River dredging is on but when

Rajang River dredging is on but when ? Robert Lau, the MP of Sibu and Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government did not say when the dredging work would start.

It could be tomorrow, it could be next year, it could be next decade. Robert Lau has given a glimpse of hope for the Sibu locals on the news that dredging of Rajang River to solve the flooding woes has been approved by the government.

The hope is however still false and no date and no allocation amount was revealed. The government basically approved the request to dredge the shallow Rajang River but not quite committed to reserve the funds.

Thus, for the time being, Sibu flood mitigation plan is (still) not going anywhere

Related post:
* Siltation in Rajang River due to heavy deforestation
* Sarawak logging industry - one of the culprit
* Who's protecting Sarawak virgin jungles


Extracted from TheBorneoPost

Seven ‘bottlenecks’ identified

By Philip Wong

Dredging work will soon be carried out at stretches to ensure smoother water flow at Rajang, Igan rivers

SIBU: The authorities have identified seven ‘bottlenecks’ in the Rajang and Igan rivers that are said to be causing unending flood woes here for decades.

Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Robert Lau said as a remedial measure, dredging work would soon be carried out at these stretches to ensure smoother water flow.

In addition, he said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment would, in principle, allocate a certain sum of money through the Drainage and Irrigation Department to raise rural and urban roads here above the water level. He said these were short-term measures aimed at mitigating the flood woes.

“In the long term, we will look into more details like the construction of bunds along the rivers,” he said at the opening of Home & Property Roadshow 2008 held at Wisma Sanyan here yesterday.

Lau, however, did not say when the dredging work would start.

SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, and vice-president of Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) and the organising chairperson Lovetta Tiong were among those present at the function.

Over 20 booths showcasing products and services of local and outstation property developers are being put up for the three-day roadshow. With regard to upgrading of roads, it is learnt that works to raise them were already in progress involving roads in several parts of the town.

“The people of Sibu should be happy now that the government has finally decided to dredge the river and upgrade the road. This should put to rest all argument over ways to mitigate the flood woes.”

On another note, the Sibu Municipal Council, Lau said, would build another landfill next to the existing one in Kemuyang soon to provide safe living environment to the people here.

“All these are concrete proof that the BN government is a caring government and that only BN representatives are capable of keeping their promises to the people. We should therefore work closely with the BN government for more development,” he added.

On the fuel crisis, Lau said the government might reduce prices when oil prices in the international market went down to US$110 per barrel.

“For the past few days, the international oil prices have slipped from US$147 to US$126, and if the trend continues until US$110, chances are that the government may slash prices,” he said.

Lau said the crisis could be taken as a blessing in disguise.

“When the going gets tough, everyone will try to find new ways to survive, like saving on petrol consumption and changing their lifestyle. And very often, people tend to find wisdom in troubled waters and in time of crisis.”

Earlier, Lau said his ministry was currently working on a plan to formulate a national housing policy, which should be completed very soon.

“The whole objective is to fine-tune the existing housing regulations and laws and to have stricter control on developers. The ministry wants to safeguard the house buyers and make sure that there are not many abandoned project, and that the developers will not default in delivery.”

“Housing, clothing, transportation and food are the four basic needs for mankind. That is why the government is serious in its efforts to make sure that we have a roof over our head.”

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