SEMATAN: The federal government has agreed that there would be no toll collection for the Pan Borneo Highway, either in Sarawak or Sabah, Work Minister Baru Bian reiterated.
He said the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government also has the same aspiration to see similar infrastructure network for the people in the two states like in the peninsula.
“I would describe the Pan Borneo project as the greatest engineering project ever implemented in Borneo,” he said at the launch of the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway for the Telok Melano-Sematan alignment by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, here Saturday.
The 33km-long alignment was completed on Jan 4, 2019, at a cost of RM580 million.
The project in Sarawak involved a total cost of RM16.49 billion, with one-third of the Telok Melano alignment lying within the Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary.
The minister said the close cooperation between the federal and the state governments in bringing changes to the infrastructure landscape in Sarawak would continue to be enhanced.
He said the presence of the alignment would enable economic activities to be explored, especially in the ecotourism sector in Telok Melano, which is located in the southern tip of Sarawak; and job opportunities to be created for the locals, which will be the catalyst for the development of the Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
“A total of 10.300 Sarawakians are involved, either directly or indirectly, at various levels of the project, including as contractors, consultants, suppliers and vendors.
The overall Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak is expected to be fully completed in June 2021, involving the construction of 115 bridges, 25 elevated interchanges, three rest and service areas, and six lay-bys.
He also encouraged more qualified Bumiputera contractors and vendors to join the tender for the works related to the project.