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Sarawak to undertake Muara Tebas pilot project under green corridor concept

KUCHING: The Sarawak Government will undertake a pilot project in Muara Tebas near here to develop a new satellite town under the Green Corridor concept within the 10th Malaysia Plan.

State housing and urban development minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said on Wednesday, Aug 4, that the project -- part of the ministry's plan to improve public transport system and township planning -- would include the re-settlement of three nearby villages, including Senari and Sejingkat.

He said the state government intended to connect various suburban neighbourhoods in Kuching to the city centre by incorporating pedestrian malls and bicycle lanes, without jeopardising the normal traffic flow. "This is aimed at sustaining its liveable city status," Abang Johari told reporters after the opening of the International Public Transport Conference here.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan officiated the opening of the conference.

Abang Johari said the policy to improve the quality of urban living within the next five years would initially be implemented in Kuching, with the provision of infrastructure, such as the construction of pedestrian malls along the artificial lake at Muara Tebas, where the water level needed to be managed due to peat soil.

The concept had already been expanded to Sibujaya in Sibu on an 80-acre of greenery to link the riverine town with pedestrian walks within the proposed boulevard being built at a cost of RM10 million, he said.

Similar plans were also underway, he said, to connect the Miri city centre from the Miri Marriott Resort, which would also enable tourists to walk and enjoy the sights of a people-friendly seaside city, he said.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Chan said the impact of transport on city dwellers was not confined to mobility alone, but also the environmental, social and economic aspects, with many negative effects falling on those social groups, which were least likely to own and drive cars.

Citing the suburban traffic in Kuching district, he said, thousands of vehicles were entering the city daily, from the surburbs and nearby centres of Serian, Kota Samarahan, Bau and Lundu.

During the period from 1970 to 2007, the number of vehicles on the road in the district had risen from 21,929 vehicles to 539,702. -- Bernama
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