SIBU: Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) yesterday endorsed the proposed smart transportation system and smart township conceptual plan, which also involves a tram service to commute between Sibu Airport and Sibu Jaya Township.
It will be the first of such mode of transportation in the country, SRDC chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai told a press conference yesterday.
He said the plan was presented to the council by Sarawak-based company ACG Harta Bumi Sdn Bhd.
"This morning (yesterday) we received a presentation from ACG Harta Bumi. We were briefed on the proposed smart transportation system in Sibu Jaya and airport, including a tram service. This is very futuristic, something they intend to propose in Sibu Jaya in the near future.
"This proposed system will be integrated with the airport and the Pan Borneo Highway passing through Sibu Jaya. The township can be made into a transportation hub. We hope the standard of Sibu Jaya will be uplifted and become more vibrant.
"They said the 4km tram track will link Sibu Airport, Eco Garden, Sibu Jaya and the proposed SRDC office
(in Sibu Jaya) in the future. We hope we can get more information on this subject. They (ACG Harta Bumi Sdn Bhd) wanted to present it to the council first before going to the state government" he added.
SRDC deputy chairman Robert Lau Hui Yew and secretary Justani Joni were also present at the press conference.
With Kuching to have its own LRT system as mentioned by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Sempurai reckoned that the tram service was something that Sibu must have in the near future.
He said ACG Harta Bumi was serious about the plan as evidenced by it acquiring about 40 acres of land near the airport.
Meanwhile, when met at his office, ACG Harta Bumi strategy advisor Ahmad Fauzi said four stations were proposed along the route stretching about 3.5km.
He said there would be a transit-oriented-development (TOD) on the acquired land with a stop at the airport, another one in front of Eco Garden and the last stop at the proposed SRDC office (in Sibu Jaya).
Ahmad said this people-oriented project would complement the council's policy to build a smart township with better organised infrastructure and transportation.
He added that they had chosen Sibu for the proposed project because based on the state's topography, Sibu is the transit point between Kuching and Miri, making Sibu Jaya an ideal transportation hub.
"We need the support of SRDC. It is viable to look at and viable to do it for the future of the smart township. Five to 10 years from now Sibu Jaya will be more structured in terms of infrastructure and transportation" he said.
As for cost, he said it had not been discussed yet because it's merely a proposal.