Daily Express, Photo Credit to Daily Express
clock 19-11-2019
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RM1.57b for Infrastructure, Public Facilities

A total of RM1.57 billion has been allocated for the development of infrastructure and public facilities, reflecting the State Government’s determination to provide quality infrastructure and basic amenities which are important for the people’s wellbeing and State’s economic growth.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said overall Sabah still lags in the development of quality infrastructure and basic amenities, which are necessary for the people’s wellbeing and to support the State’s economic growth. 


As such, the State Government shall continue to focus on infrastructure development such as roads, bridges and public transports, as well as utilities, for instance, sewerage, water and electricity supply, he said. 

“The determination of the Government is reflected through provision of a substantial allocation amounting to RM1.57 billion for infrastructure and public facilities. This amount includes the RM929.44 million allocation for the Infrastructure Development Ministry, its departments and agencies, and a further RM530.70 million allocation under the Finance Ministry,” he said when tabling the 2020 State Budget at the State Legislative Assembly, here, last Friday.


He said the Public Works Department (PWD) is allocated a sum of RM196.69 million to fund programmes to construct roads, bridges, sewerage facilities, slope protection works and repair as well as government buildings. 


In addition, he said, the Federal Government is expected to allocate RM1 billion for the implementation of 11 ongoing projects and another four new projects under the Pan Borneo Highway. 


He said among the programmes that will be implemented by PWD under State fund in 2020 include the construction and completion of new roads covering Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tuaran, Beluran, Kudat, Putatan and in small towns as well as rural areas. Others include:


- Slope repairs and bridges as well as traffic management with an allocation of RM77.24 million; 


- Construction and maintenance of State Government buildings including quarters (RM74.60 million); and


- Upgrading of sewerage systems in various districts including those under the local authorities where this programme will be jointly funded through federal loan of RM94.15 million and RM15 million from the State Government allocation.


Shafie, who is also Finance Minister, said the State Government will continue to give priority on the development of clean and treated water supply to meet the needs of the people as well as the demand of the industry and the commercial sector.  

He said RM546.02 million has been allocated for the State Water Department to cover operation and development of water supply projects. 


The programmes and projects that will be implemented include the Special Water Project with an allocation of RM125 million; for Non-Revenue Water Loss Reduction Rate Programme (RM7.9 million); programmes to upgrade water mains, distribution and reticulation system, water tank, reservoir and booster pumps as well as water treatment works (RM18.5 million); and Immediate Water Supply Programme and Sabah State Water Supply Plan (RM48 million) which will be financed by the State and reimbursed through federal soft loan.


“Water is important and is a critical basic necessity. Clean and adequate water supply is a critical factor to drive the economic growth,” said the Chief Minister. 


The State Government has also allocated RM44.74 million for enhancing the quality of railway services in the State next year, said Shafie, adding this will be utilised for 10 proposed programmes, which include the construction and maintenance of railway tracks and slip-roads; repairs and upgrading of railway stations; as well as the replacement of diesel-set and hydraulic diesel engine units. 


“In addition, the department will also complete two federal-funded projects which include procurement of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) and upgrading of the Halogilat-Tenom railway line with an allocation of RM33.4 million next year,” he said.


He said for the Sabah Ports and Harbour Department, some RM21.68 million has been allocated for next year for its management and operations.


“This allocation will be used to finance the maintenance of landing jetties; barter trade jetty; pilotage; and vessel traffic monitoring tower. Development allocation will be spent to continue, among others, on traffic control and cruise assistance programmes in the respective port limits of Sipitang, Tawau and Sandakan; and upgrading of the existing facilities in the Menumbok Ferry Terminal area.


“In addition, the Government is allocating RM122.74 million to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage in 2020, to be spent on urban drainage development programmes to avert and resolve flood issues as well as protection and erosion mitigation schemes at riverbanks and coastal area. 


“This involves implementation of ongoing programmes and projects such as the flood prevention and mitigation schemes in Sungai Tawau, Tawau and Sungai Petagas Kg Sendil, Putatan; urban drainage schemes in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Tawau; as well as drainage schemes in Tenom and Beaufort,” he said.


Shafie also said the State Government is currently collaborating with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to increase energy distribution capacity from West Coast to East Coast through the Southern Link Project.  


“The project will provide better electricity supply and will complement the main 275kV Grid system in Sabah. For initial implementation, SESB is allocated grant and development fund amounting to RM69 million by the Federal Government between this year and 2020. This is to fund preliminary assessment works and land acquisition required for the proposed alignment of the transmission lines to the east coast,” he said.


Frequent electricity supply disruption that has been an issue in the East Coast of Sabah, has hampered social and economic development in that area, he said.


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