Ministry calls for cooperation in implementation of utilities projects
Posted on : 30 Nov 2022  Source of News:

Julaihi (right) arrives at the DUN Complex for the sitting together with Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

KUCHING (Nov 30): The Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication has called on all relevant parties to give their cooperation to ensure effectiveness in the implementation of utilities development projects in Sarawak.

Its minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the ministry still faces several challenges particularly issues related to wayleave with private owners, plantation companies, forest concession companies and other relevant agencies in its efforts to achieve full coverage of water and electricity supply and telecommunication.

“I would like to emphasise here the importance of the level of awareness among all parties involved in development projects so that they take into account and pay serious attention to utility facilities such as electric cables, water pipes, telecommunication cables and underground gas pipes at a site that involves excavation works.

“The ministry calls on all parties involved in these projects to share data and suggests the use of detection methods for all types of underground utility cables and pipes before starting their work.

“This is important to protect all types of cables and pipes from damage during excavation work, reduce utility supply disruptions to the public and improve the safety of all parties,” he said when winding up his ministerial speech.

He also told the august House that issues related to vandalism were still rampant and have resulted in utility and telecommunication supply disruptions.

“Among the issues of vandalism are the theft of cables and electrical equipment, water supply equipment and telecommunications components,” he said.

Citing the latest incident involving the theft of bolts and nuts for steel pipe (1,000mm) in Bintulu, he pointed out that this resulted in a severe leak and affected water supply and pressure to consumers in Bintulu.

“Cases of vandalism involving the theft of cables and damage to street lamp posts also occurred at Jalan Federal Administrative Centre (FAC), Jalan Casuarina and Jalan Bako in Kuching.

“Although repairs have been made, vandalism continues to recur. This is an inconvenience for the people and the government suffers a loss from this,” he said.

He said his ministry was currently exploring various strategies to tackle the problem of vandalism such as recommending to strengthen the legislation and enforcement to curb vandalism activities; actively collaborating between utilities and telecommunications agencies with authorities such as the police, Rela and local authorities; and active cooperation with all elected representatives and local communities such as village development and security committees (JKKK), and councillors to create a spirit of belonging to utility facilities by monitoring suspicious activities and reporting immediately to the relevant authorities.

Other strategies include the use of digital technology systems such as CCTV installations and alarm systems that are directly connected to the utility’s command centre and the relevant local authorities; the use of alternative building materials, construction and installation methods that make it difficult to steal electrical cables, water pipes and telecommunications components; and organising of awareness programmes at an early stage, especially among pupils and school students to expose the importance of utilities and the dangers of vandalism.

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