KUCHING: The project to upgrade Jalan Baru Matang (Phase 1) is sure to delight motorists who have been bogged down by traffic jams during peak hours.
After having waited for so long, the upgrading project on the one-kilometre stretch costing around RM4 million starts at the Datuk Abang Kipali roundabout up to E-Mart Supermall area.
Started on March 2 and expected to be completed by Nov 1 this year, the project is under the purview of the state Public Works Department (PWD) and is carried out by Divilla Construction Sdn Bhd.
Kamirin Mujio, 52, a State Forestry officer said the project to widen the road will overcome traffic congestions there.
As he did not want to arrive late for work or get trapped in the jam, Kamirin said he chose to use an alternative road – Jalan Matang-Batu Kawah.
His office is at Mile 6, Penrissen Road while his home is at Kampung Kolong, Jalan Malihah.
“On working days this road is always congested during peak hours. And the situation gets worse when there is an accident,” he said.
“If I use Jalan Baru Matang I have to come out from my house around 6am in order to get to the office on time,” he added, confident that with the completion of the project, many motorists would be happy.
Maria Atim, 38, however wished that the road is widened into a four-lane road to make overtaking easier and prevent road accidents.
“If possible, why not widen the road into a four-lane one. In the morning, the road will be congested because shoppers tend to use the access road to Matang to get to the supermarket. A four-lane road will solve the problem,” she pointed out.
Security guard Farinces Sijom, 37, suggested that a traffic light be installed near E-Mart Supermall to replace the roundabout there.
The resident of Kampung Mambong along Jalan Puncak Borneo, however, commended the government for providing a solution to the problem.
“The wider road would at least solve some of the traffic jam-related problems,” he said.
Infrastructure Development Assistant Minister Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman said the timing of the project was not an election gimmick but part of the government’s on-going development plan.
He said the project was stalled for a while because of funding problem, and it took time to design a good drainage system for the road.
“All development projects are on-going or continuous. They have nothing to do with the election which is just around the corner. However, it is normal for the opposition to criticise the government and then latter claim credit for what the government has done for the people,” he explained.
“Why do we need to politicise the road project? Election is not just a one-off thing. There will be so many to go,” he added.
Petra Jaya MP cum Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Fadillah Yusof said apart from the Jalan Matang road widening project, PWD also implemented several similar projects at Jalan Kubah Ria, Jalan Tun Rahman-Jalan Matang, Jalan Pusat Pentadbiran Persekutuan and Jalan Masjid Baru Matang.
He too said that they were not ‘instant noodle’ projects as development is a continuous process.
“Therefore, to say that all these are election-related projects is a misperception and is inaccurate. The timing of implementation of these projects is just coincidental with the election fever,” he said.
source : theborneopost.com