Jalan Bukit Penyau in Sibu is covered in dried mud from lorries entering and exiting construction areas.
THE days of lorry owners parking their heavy vehicles indiscriminately in urban areas in Sarawak will soon end, with the construction of lorry terminals in major towns there.
Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin announced that the first terminal, which would serve as the state government’s pilot project, would be in Miri.
“I am happy to inform you that the ministry has started the planning for the development of a dedicated parking space for heavy vehicles in Sarawak, starting with major towns,” he said at the installation of new office bearers for Sibu Lorry Association.
Lee’s speech text was read out by his representative, Sarawak Public Health, Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Michael Tiang.
These terminals, he explained, were to facilitate better movement of heavy vehicles and provide more efficient service to the business community.
“We are planning for a lorry terminal in Bintulu and also one in Sibu. Nevertheless, planning and development of these terminals may take some time,” he said.
Sarawak government, he stressed, was still looking at successful models of lorry terminals or logistic hubs in other countries like Singapore and Thailand, which it hoped to emulate.
Lee says there are plans for a lorry terminal in Bintulu and Sibu.
In conjunction with this, Lee said the government was exploring a public-private partnership model to ensure financial sustainability of the terminal, especially in maintaining and managing future ones.
“We welcome input and new ideas from the private sector, including from the Lorry Association, on the way forward for our transport and logistics sector.
“The government facilitates your requirements according to the development needs and institutional and regulation framework that we have now,” he said.
The ministry, he added, was also looking at upgrading infrastructure and improving institutional and regulation framework to ensure the transport sector continues to play its role efficiently.
Meanwhile, in Sibu, it is now mandatory for housing developers to set up a lorry wash bay at their construction site.
“With this wash bay, we believe we can overcome the issue of dusty and muddy roads that has been affecting residents,” said Bukit Assek assemblyman Joseph Chieng after chairing a meeting with representatives from Sibu Municipal Council (SMC), Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC), Natural Resource and Environmental Board (NREB), Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda).
He said the developers must also pave the feeder road in the construction site that connected to the main road.
“Before the lorry goes out, it will have to be properly washed and cleaned at the wash bay,” he added.
This standard operating procedure (SOP) was instituted following numerous complaints from affected residents, especially those living near Jalan Ulu Sungai Merah and Jalan Bukit Penyau.
“Housing developers will be given a three-month grace period to observe the new SOP, which will be enforced by the relevant agencies.
“This SOP is not new as it has been enforced in peninsular Malaysia and Kuching before this,” Chieng said.