Datuk Peter Minos

MPKS to solve traffic jam

KUCHING: Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) will continue to reach out to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works Department (JKR) regarding the traffic congestion in Kota Samarahan.

MPKS chairman Datuk Peter Minos said the council had been at the receiving end of daily and endless public complaints and scorn–“which we gracefully accept as a local authority”–and also appeals for something to be done to tackle the issue.

“Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg approved RM60mil in 2018 to put up synchronised traffic lights at five key roundabouts – between G3 (located infront of Intan/Unimas in MPKS) and Stutong (in MBKS).

“He also announced the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) system between Kuching and Kota Samarahan; all intended to solve the traffic woes,” Minos said yesterday.

He also added that if the government had the money and would build a flyover from Intan/Unimas to Stutong one day, this would surely be the mother of all solutions to the traffic congestion in Kota Samarahan.

MPKS, he said, was also deeply concerned about the traffic congestion during peak hours–especially between 5 and 7 in the mornings and evenings—that was getting worse by the day due to rapid development and population.

“(As an illustration of rapid growth in the area) In 2010, there were only 10,000 residential homes in Kota Samarahan, compared to 2020, it is over 45,000 and we saw massive expansion in student population in Unimas and UiTM in recent years.

“As a local resident, it takes me over one hour to drive from UniGarden in MPKS located opposite of Unimas area to Stutong in MBKS area (nearby Giant Hypermarket) at any peak hour – which can be done in just 15mins at non-peak time. Imagine that,” he said.

He also highlighted that the situation was being aggravated now by the increased traffic from Simunjan, Sebuyau, Sadong Jaya and Asajaya via the new Samarahan Bridge; on top of vehicles from Serian, Tapah, Beratok and Siburan.

“As the local government authority, MPKS will not rest until the traffic lights at the key roundabouts, the ART and hopefully the proposed flyover idea in Kota Samarahan are done and completed,” he said.