| Siti Hajar & Hakim Hayat |
WITH the completion of 4,000 homes in the Mengkubau area, a rise in traffic is expected along its major roads including the four-lane highway. However, the Ministry of Development made assurance that plans have been made to address the congestion.
During His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s visit to the Mengkubau housing area; the Minister of Development, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, highlighted that the next stage in the area’s development is the inclusion of infrastructure that will ease the flow of traffic.
Due to budgetary constraints, however, the approach to mitigate traffic will only be implemented in the coming years.
“We have plans but we are not able to implement them yet but we are aware of the issue of traffic,” said the minister. “We hope to begin construction of interchangers and other related construction in the next National Development Plan (NDP),” he added, referring to the 11th NDP after the conclusion of the 10th that runs from 2012 to 2017.
“The public will need to bear with us for the time being,” he said and assured that the project “is the next thing that we will do”.
Of the 4,000 homes that cost $380 million to construct across over 300 hectares of land, yesterday witnessed the handing over of some 718 homes to new owners, many of whom have waited years to receive this public privilege that the government strives to provide Bruneian citizens across the country.
“We hope that everyone is happy with the housing that they have received. Of course not everybody will receive what they expect but we believe it is sufficient for now,” said the minister, suggesting a different housing designs in the future.
Among the anticipated designs that the country is slated to see include the first vertical government funded housing schemes, with construction dates still on track.
“The site for the vertical housing is currently being cleared and construction should begin soon,” said the minister.
The Mengkubau housing scheme, meanwhile, was completed in time after two years of construction that took root in February 2010. But before the handing of keys to recipients that has been ongoing over the past six months in stages, the minister said, “We had to go through every single house to ensure that everything is satisfactory. There were still some minor issues here and there but the end products were acceptable.”