Urda To Develop 4 Mln Ha Of Upper Rajang Basin – Masing

KUCHING: The Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) is the best platform to develop some four million hectares (ha) of land in the upper Rajang basin.

Urda chairman Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said stretching from Kanowit to Song, Kapit and Belaga, Urda’s land area is equivalent in size to the states of Pahang and Terengganu combined.

We have to plan what’s best to develop the entire region.

The setting up of Urda itself is an acknowledgement by the state government that this is the right time to develop upper Rajang River basin after its vast resources in timber has been harvested and we are left with polluted rivers, Masing told The Borneo Post recently.

He said Urda would put in place basic infrastructure and amenities such as roads, electricity and water over the next 10 years.

All the eight (state) elected representatives and three members of parliament must be able to capitalise on the opportunity given to us to develop our area.

The ball is now in our court. So if we fail, we can’t blame others anymore, he said.

Masing said the completion of the Baleh hydroelectric plant (HEP) would further spur development in the area.

Now we already have two mega HEP Dams � Bakun and Murum. And with the completion of Baleh HEP Dam in 2025, Urda will be producing 5,400MW.

That will be producing enough power to fire up our heavy industry under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

So with that immense power supply, Urda will expect the money which is earned from its power to be channelled back to develop the area, he said.

On the Baleh HEP, Masing said Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) would recruit about 500 locals to be part of the workforce in the construction of the dam, which will start soon.

This is how we want the local people to benefit from this mega project. And we are very thankful to SEB for ensuring that the locals will not be left out of job opportunities, he said, adding that at the peak of its construction, some 3,500 workers would be needed.

Source: Borneo Post Online