Sim Cheng Tak.

KUCHING: The contractor for the city’s storm-water discharge outlet has expressed regret over delays in the construction of drains along Jalan Masjid, Jalan Market and Lebuh Java.

Sim Kui Hua Construction Sdn Bhd director Sim Cheng Tak explained that although the project worth RM6.6 million had commenced in January 2018, the project site was not properly handed over to them.

“This is because most of the construction areas were facing obstructions that include the existing services which had prevented us from carrying out the drainage upgrading works as planned.

“The relocation works were beyond our control as these needed to be approved and relocated by relevant authorities. The (relocation) works were also delayed to the extent that some of the services were only relocated after the contract period had expired,” he said when met by reporters in his office on Saturday (Oct 17).

Sim was referring to the statement made on Oct 16 by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii regarding the long delay in the drainage upgrading works project.

He noted that this delay had definitely caused inconvenience to the public as well as affecting the surrounding business owners.

The area had been in existence since the British era and there are a lot of other unknown services underneath the ground which were not documented in the early years thus, making identification and relocation works more difficult to be carried out by the authorities involved.

“At this juncture, we are still facing some obstructions on the site as well as seeking approval from relevant authority, in which we are still waiting for directions from the client.

“From January 2018 until now (a duration of 34 months), there are still certain issues that are hampering the project’s progress in order to complete it at the soonest.

“Despite spending a longer time than expected on this project, we are still working ‘hand-in-hand’ with the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) to look for the best solutions,” he stated.

Sim told that recently, the company had a meeting with DBKU on the duration required to complete the outstanding projects upon resolving all the issues involved.

Among the issues include the main ones, namely claim assessments and outstanding payment for the works that that had been done by the company since end of February 2020 until now.

When asked how long it would take to resolve the issues, he said that it would take about two and a half months.

“Apart from that, inconsistent rainfall is one of the key factors of the delay. If it rains for a few days, we would not be able to carry out the works. But we do have a temporary measure to release the rain waters from the site, in case it rains,” he told.