Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya

KUCHING: The construction of Batang Igan Bridge is a bold move by the Sarawak government which will change the development landscape in the central part of the state.

Jemoreng assemblyman Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya said with the completion of the bridge, residents from Tanjung Manis, Pulau Bruit, Daro and Matu will reach Mukah faster.

“In fact, the journey of the residents in Sarikei to the northern region is shorter through the Batang Igan Bridge to Tanjung Manis before going to the Muara Lassa Bridge without going through Sibu,” he said.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officiated at the  groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Batang Igan today.

Juanda pointed out that the Batang Igan Bridge would complement the development of the coastal areas, thus creating economic and employment opportunities for the locals.

“As employment opportunities increase, the income of the locals also increases because farmers and fishermen can bring their products directly to the market.

“Therefore, the migration of villagers to the city will be reduced because business opportunities are wide open as well as able to attract investors,” he explained.

He stressed that the brave action of the chief minister to approve large expenditures for the road network will accelerate Sarawak’s vision of becoming a food supplier state by 2030.

“If we look at the development in Malaya which has the North-South Highway and the East-West Highway, both networks have boost the socio-economic development of the people.

“Similarly in Sarawak, our state is very wide and it needs a large road network,” he said.

He believed that in the next five to 10 years, small towns will mushroom in the coastal areas when the road network is completed.