By : SHALINA R
THE MINISTRY of Infrastructure Development (MOID) has received RM368.51 million under the 2013 state budget. "It is the largest allocation for development purposes among the Ministries," Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of the Infrastructure Development (MOID), Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan said in his winding up speech at the 5th term State Assembly meeting.
This allocation will have a profound impact in terms of improving the community's quality of life and will be distributed to four departments under his ministry.
RM186.9 million will be allocated to the Public Works Department (PWD). The department will spend RM109.1 on the construction of roads in major cities and small towns throughout the state and in the sectors identified as drivers of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
As for the rest of the sum, PWD will spend RM21.8 million on the Bridge Program, RM17.5 million on the Slope Program, RM3.24 million on the Building Program and RM 35.3 million on the Sewerage Projects.
Water supply throughout the state will receive a great deal of attention. Pairin's ministry will continue with the development works of water supply throughout the state.
Part of the RM164.9 million allocated to the Sabah Water Department (SWD) will be used to continue with the Non-revenue Water Reduction Program, Pipe Installation Program and Booster Pump System Upgrade Program.
A total of RM13 million will be allocated for the Emergency Water Works Program and RM18.4 million will be used for the Main Pipe Upgrade, Distribution and Reticulation Program.
Besides that, RM7.9 million will be spent for the building or upgrading of water treatment plants and 'Muka Sauk' (a building erected at the river bank which houses submersible pumps). RM11 million is allocated for research work and the Design Preparation Project.
Pairin also told the Dewan that the RM13.5 million allocation for the Ports and Harbor Department will be utilised for the installation of beacons and navigation aids to increase the number of water traffic facilities in ports and rivers.
Dredging river works will also be conducted and RM1 million is the expected cost. Some areas have been identified for this work such as the Garama River and Kimanis waters. The Shipping Traffic Monitoring Towers construction in Kimanis, worth RM3.5 million, will be continued. It is expected to be completed in 2013. A tug boat costing RM7.4 million is also in the implementation schedule.
He added, the Railway Department will be receiving RM3.25 million and part of it will be utilised to upgrade the railway services in order for it to be an alternative public transport that is reliable and comfortable for the people.
These efforts have shown positive growth as the number of passengers using rail services has increased significantly. By the end of 2011, the number of passengers using the railway service reached 593,033 people and the revenue generated for that period amounted to RM1.26 million.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said, "My ministry is concerned with the current electricity supply situation in Sabah. Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has assured us that they will continue to work with the existing resources and provide a more reliable source of electricity supply. As a positive move, the Federal Government, between 2010 and 2012, has channeled funds of RM724.0 million in order to upgrade the electricity supply infrastructure in Sabah particularly to strengthen the generation, transmission and distribution sector." (Insight Sabah)