RM2b needed to finish flood bypass project

KUCHING: Sarawak is requesting RM2 billion from the Federal Government to complete the Flood Bypass Channel project to free its city of floods and tidal surges.
State Urban Development and Tourism Minister Datuk Michael Manyin said work on the first phase of the 8km bypass, which is 250m wide and 7m deep, and costing RM149 million, started in September last year.

Construction, he said, included building a gated barrage, a tidal gate, two bridges, an access road, a bund, and a rock-filled causeway.

The expected completion is February next year.

Manyin, however, said the completion of the first two kilometres of the channel could not free the city of floods as it was only part of the channel.

“We need to get the money from the Federal Government to complete the project as soon as possible,” he said after visiting the site at Sungai Lemidin, about 20 minutes’ boat ride from the Semariang Jetty, Petra Jaya near here.

Manyin was briefed on the status of the project by R. Sivakumar, senior project manager of Naim Cendera Sdn Bhd, the company appointed by the state government to implement the project.

He said that the flood mitigation projects at Sungai Padungan, costing RM18.5 million, and Sungai Maong Paroh (RM15 million) were expected to start soon.

The Sungai Padungan project will improve the trunk drainage system and alleviate flash floods in low-lying areas along Jalan Mendu, Jalan Ellis and Jalan Tan Sri William Tan, while the Sungai Maong Paroh project would involve trunk drainage improvement along Jalan Matang, from Taman Suria Jaya to Taman Matang Jaya.

Manyin said the two projects were funded under the RM50 million allocation approved under the country’s second stimulus package.