KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has approved an immediate allocation to repair 41 damaged roads following continous rain that wreaked havoc around the State two weeks ago. The estimated funds required amounted to RM150 million. Hajiji said the State Government will also request funding from the federal government for the repairs of all infrastructures under federal’s jurisdiction. He said the relevant departments have been directed to expedite the process so that repair works could start as soon as possible.
“We must address this issue because it has brought about enormous hazards and difficulties to road users as well as adversely impacted the rakyat’s livelihood,” he said. Speaking to reporters after inspecting the damaged road at KM44.7 Jalan Penampang – Tambunan near here on Tuesday, he said that based on the Public Works Department (PWD) report, 15 roads were severely damaged and totally impassable while another 11 partially cut off and another 15 were also hit by disaster caused by non-stop rain but remained passable to vehicles. According to him, out of the 41 damaged roads, 37 belongs to the State while four were under the Federal purview.
Repair cost for the collapsed road at KM44.7 Jalan Penampang – Tambunan have been estimated at RM5 million. At the moment, repair works were still ongoing but a one way lane has already been opened allowing small vehicles to pass the stretch. Apart from the Penampang – Tambunan road, the other totally cut off roads were Jalan Nangoh – Paitan – Kanibongan, Jalan Apin Apin – Bundu Kampung Tiga, Jalan Montenior – Hologilat, Jalan Bilangau Darat, Jalan Liu Malubang, Jalan Telaga (bridge collapsed), Jalan Rukom Kibuluh, Jalan Suang Duyung, Jalan Mengkubau Laut, Jalan Pinuludan, Jalan Pinampadan and Jalan Bungaliou – Longkou Lama – Timbok.
“The amount needed to repair these damages is quite huge but we can manage,” he said. He said it was unfortunate that the people have to endure hardship due to the natural disaster. “We are doing our best and I hope the people will understand and be patient as the relevant agencies carry out works to reconnect all the damaged roads,” he said. Besides roads, the prolonged rain that began on Jan 11 had also brought about flood and land slides that caused damages to properties and crops amounting to RM130 million. “This is based on reports from the various district offices submitted to the State Secretary’s office,” he said.
Hajiji had personally gone to the ground to see for himself areas in Kota Belud, Tuaran and Beaufort affected by flood where he met with victims at the temporary shelters. Also on hand were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, State Secretary Datuk Sr Safar Untong and PWD Director Ir Ali Ahmad.