MINISTER of Works Datuk Seri HajiFadillahYusof (second right), look on by YB Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman (left) and Datuk Haji Abang Abdul Wahap (second left) listening to the explanation by a contractor regarding the project at Bulatan Abang Kipali, Petra Jaya.

KUCHING: The working progress of interchange via shallow underpass at Datuk Temenggong Abang Kipali Abang Akip Roundabout in Petra Jaya is currently 42.9 per cent and expected to be complete on 25 November this year.

The progress is slightly behind the schedule (supposed to be 44 per cent) because of the erratic weather conditions,  disclosed Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof during a site visit to the aforesaid underpass yesterday.

“Today (yesterday), Public Works Department (PWD), Kuching North City Commission (DBKU), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) and I, come down to the site project to find the solution for the low-lying residential area that has flash-flood problem.

“PWD, DBKU and DID have also agreed to form a taskforce to look at and assess overall on how to solve the flash flood problem faced by the residents. We will talk with the residents to find a solution on what measures can be taken collectively and what support and assistance that we can give to them including if they need to be relocated.

“Instructions were also given to the contractor to ensure maintenance during the construction time is running well, so it will not affect the flow of water to avoid blockage that will cause overflow into the residential areas,” he explained adding the contractor agreed to monitor closely the site project.

Fadillah added, there is no 100 per cent guarantee that the traffic flow will be smoother after the completion of the underpass because there are still a lot of bottlenecks from Petra Jaya to Kuching city.

Among the bottlenecks are Green Road and Jalan Muhibbah; the road under Satok Flyover and traffic light junction in front of RTM building.

“What I fear is the occurrence of backflow that will slow down the traffic and that is why we look to other alternatives (long term planning) which include making a bridge from Emart Matang to Stapok, (we expect there to be another option for the people and not just use or focus on one road only).

“Secondly, DBKU, state government and federal government have to discuss on how we need to improve our public transportation and what is the best public transportation we can offer to the community, so that we can ‘move’ at least a few per cent of people who use their own vehicles to switch to public transportation- this can decrease the number of vehicles on the road and can smoothen the traffic flow.

“But, with the condition that there must be an efficient and comfortable public transportation system, and currently, we are working with Rapid at federal level and in principle, they already agreed and Rapid will be implemented in Kuching in the near future,” Fadillah pointed out.