KOTA KINABALU Oct 11 - The federal government has allocated more than RM1.9 billion to implement 53 road and bridge projects in Sabah under the Eighth Malaysia Plan, Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said today.
Of the total, RM1.3 billion would be spent to finance 39 continuation projects from the Seventh Malaysia Plan while RM560.4 million for new projects, he said.
The allocation is 10.3 percent of the total allocation approved nationwide, he told reporters after attending a development briefing at the State Public Works Department (PWD) headquarters.
As at end of last month, RM262.25 million or 56.62 percent of the allocation for road and bridge projects had been spent of the RM463.171 million allocated for this year, he said.
"I'm given to understand that the usage of the allocation will increase to more than 95 per cent in the next three months as there are new projects to be carried out," he said.
Among ongoing projects are upgrading of the road from Merotai to Kalabakan Phase 2 costing RM125.8 million, Karamunsing tiered interchange project in Kota Kinabalu (RM138.7 million) and Kunak-Semporna road (RM161.3 million), he said.
He said designs for three slope reinforcement projects are ready and physical work are expected to start this year.
This include slopes along Ranau-Telupid Road, Jalan Telupid to Sandakan and Jalan Kota Belud-Kudat, he said.
On the arrears in payment to three water supply concessionaire in Sabah, Samy Vellu said a memorandum on the matter would be tabled to the cabinet soon.
"We sympathise with the propblem faced by the state government to settle the arrears and several options are being studied to be considered by the federal fovernment.
"Discussions at officers level between my ministry and the state government had been held to find a solution to resolve the problem," he said.
He said total collection from water supply was between RM60 to RM65 million while the value of water supplied was worth RM165 million.
The three concessionaires are Jetama Sdn Bhd, Timatch Sdn Bhd and Lahad Datu Water Supply Sdn Bhd.