| Azlan Othman & Syazwani Hj Rosli |
STEPS to mitigate floods have become a priority following continuous heavy rains.
However, because some areas are low-lying, many mishaps can still occur unless large investments are secured, Minister of Development, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, said yesterday.
A problem relating to such an investment is that it would not pay off in the long-term as the population in some of the affected villages are small. The occurrence of floods continue to persist and work in these respective areas has not been much compared to other areas, the Minister of Development said as he addressed members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) at the ministry’s premises.
“Floods that affect areas including low-lying areas has become the main concern of the Ministry of Development, the Fire and Rescue Department, National Disaster Management Centre and the District Office. I would like to express my appreciation towards these parties for their cooperation and involvement in helping to address this problem” he said.
He also emphasised the importance of flood mitigation projects, of which some are currently being implemented, while others have been completed.
Meanwhile, on the topic of national housing projects, the minister touched on the Lambak Kanan vertical housing project, with the contract having been awarded already and the date of completion for its construction scheduled for sometime in 2016 or 2017.
The minister also briefed LegCo members on the development of the cluster housing project in Kg Lugu as part of an alternative plan to gain the interest of applicants who do not wish to reside in terrace houses.
To date, 400 housing projects in Kg Mengkubau have been completed and over 1,000 recipients have partaken already in a ballot. The official house key presentation will be held in the near future. He added that the Tanah Jambu, Meragang, Bukit Beruang and Lugu housing schemes have also been completed and will be handed over soon as well.
Regarding the software issue brought forward in last year’s LegCo session, the minister informed his audience that major changes have taken place with the introduction of an approval process for land development, land use and building control aimed at facilitating its management.
On a separate note, public grievances over the escalating cost of house surveying projects, appropriate action has been taken and the minister also emphasised that appropriate measures to reduce the waiting period of the land development process will soon be introduced.
“With these strategies in place, we hope that the process can be shortened.”
These matters, as well as the issue of transferring land ownership, have been discussed with a unit under the Prime Minister’s Office called ‘PENGGERAK,’ which called for the process to be sped-up.
The minister highlighted its three objectives: infrastructure development, environmental strategy and leadership strategies for land use, as being key to the ministry’s contribution toward Brunei Darussalam achieving the National Vision 2035.
The minister concluded his speech by highlighting the successful implementation of major projects including the construction of roads, highways, drains, trenches and reservoirs as well as constriction of a few flyovers in strategic areas, of which some are still ongoing.