Sub-district development plan to be studied, considered

Abang Johari (second left) releases ceremonial balloons at the earth-breaking ceremony for the project that is expected to be completed in 18 months’ time. Photo: JaPen Sarawak

BALAI RINGIN: A master plan for the future development of Balai Ringin (about 90.9 km from Kuching) that includes a proposal for a waterfront will be studied and considered to support plans to turn Balai Ringin into a sub-district.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the master plan must be holistic.

“The details are already available, but we will study this some more so that once Balai Ringin has been developed, it will become a beautiful sub-district. We have to plan well.

“He (Balai Ringin assemblyman Datuk Snowdan Lawan) mentioned a waterfront, offices, and so on, so I will study the plan so that we can provide the facilities,” he said when officiating at an earth-breaking ceremony for Balai Ringin Mini Stadium here today.

In response to Snowdan’s request to expedite the elevation of Balai Ringin to a sub-district, he said he would bring up the matter with the State Secretary.

He emphasised that at the same time water supply for the area must be addressed.

“Water supply is important. At the moment we have only achieved 30 percent (in Balai Ringin) which means we have 70 percent more to go,” he said.

He said Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) director Chang Kuet Shian had given a briefing on the matter and the funds had been allocated, adding that 100 percent water supply in the area was expected to be achieved by 2024 or 2025.

Abang Johari noted that Balai Ringin was very strategically located along the Pan Borneo Highway and added that equipping it with good facilities would benefit the people.

About plans for Balai Ringin town, he said they would be looked into and he would instruct the Land and Survey Department to make plans based on information from Snowdan.

Early on, Snowdan proposed several development projects that align with Balai Ringin’s elevation to a sub-district, including expanding and upgrading the market and developing a new waterfront which would have trading stalls and a family park.

“The cost of building this waterfront is estimated to be about RM35 million,” he said.

He said once Balai Ringin is a sub-district it would also need a new police station and a fire station.