| Wani Roslan |
A 300-UNIT apartment on a 15-hectare land equipped with public facilities including a multi-purpose hall, open area and multi-storey car park is scheduled to be built in 18 months’ time at the National Housing Scheme of Kg Lambak Kanan/Salambigar.
A contract signing ceremony was held yesterday between the Housing Development Department of the Ministry of Development and Dara Construction Sdn Bhd at Dewan Betabur at the ministry.
The signing of the contract was witnessed by Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, Minister of Development.
The first phase of the project scheduled to start at the end of this month is being built at a cost of B$55 million.
Each unit in the six-storey apartment block which comes with a floor area of 170 square metres, will consist of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen.
The contract also includes the preparation of a master plan for the site area of 42 hectares with a provision for the construction of public facilities in the future such as schools, community halls, recreational facilities and commercial buildings.
“For every new project a survey is conducted and two surveys were conducted for this project. The result has shown a positive response from the public as more than 70 per cent has agreed with the project,” the Minister of Development told the media after the signing ceremony.
The minister said several areas have been identified and the ministry will be implementing similar projects by gauging the public’s response.
He added that vertical housing has to be built as land that can be developed in the country is limited. He also stated that soil in some of the areas in the country is soft and hence costly to be developed.
“In our future planning, there are various projects that need be undertaken and we have to use the land appropriately, as we have committed to the Heart of Borneo for which about 57 per cent of the land has been allocated,” the minister added.
Among the main features of the apartment is its design that uses environmentally friendly products and technology that contribute to energy conservation and use of clean water through rain water harvesting.
Greenery will be retained at most of the designated land area meant for development, thereby controlling surface run-off and enhancing the natural beauty of the surrounding.
The primary goal in the long-term strategic plan of the Housing Development Department is to accelerate housing development to ensure housing applicants get their houses in less than 10 years, as well as optimal use of land to provide affordable housing for the masses.
By 2016, over 30,000 houses will be built and according to statistics from the department, a total of 21,333 houses have been allocated to qualified applicants under the National Housing Scheme in the country – 13,635 houses in Brunei-Muara District; 6,585 houses in Belait District; 710 houses in Tutong District and 403 houses in Temburong District.
Signing the contract yesterday on behalf of the Housing Development Department was Mohammad Nazri bin Mohammad Yusof, Acting Director of Housing Development Department, and witnessed by Abdul Hakim bin Haji Hanafiah, Acting Deputy Director of the Housing Development Department.
Signing on behalf of Dara Construction Sdn Bhd was Lim Yu Teck, Managing Director of Dara Construction Sdn Bhd, and witnessed by Ang Chuan Chai, Director of Dara Construction Sdn Bhd.
Also in attendance were Dato Paduka Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Permanent Secretary (Technical and Professional) at the Ministry of Development (MoD); Haji Muhammad Lutfi bin Haji Abdullah, Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) at the MoD; Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MoD; Penghulu of Mukim Berakas ‘B’, village heads of RPN Lambak Kanan and Salambigar; heads of department as well as senior officials of the MoD.