Dam, TAED project to proceed
Published on: Wednesday, June 26, 2019
By: Larry Ralon

KOTA KINABALU: The proposed Papar dam is greatly needed in view of the Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) project becoming a reality very soon and the corresponding increase in demand for clean water supply, said State Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony (pic). 

He said the proposed dam would also cater for the expected increase in population in Papar, Beaufort, Putatan and here, besides TAED. 

“As we have planned, the proposed Papar dam previously received objection. But when we look at it from all aspects, we see there is a great need for this dam because not long from now TAED will be operational in Tanjung Aru. 

“With TAED operational and the growing population in Beaufort, Papar, Putatan and in the State Capital, definitely there will need for more clean water supply. 

“We need to plan this at the State Water Department so to have sufficient water supply because we know that in Papar, whenever there is high tide, the water treatment plant have to stop operation because of salty sea water which makes the people in Papar worried.

“That’s why they agreed to have the Papar dam which will be implemented as immediately as possible,” he said at the Presentation of Excellent Services Awards for State Water Department officers and staff at Promenade Hotel, Tuesday. 

Anthony said the proposed dam would have two-in-one functions, that is, to generate electricity with capacity of 100 kilo-volt-amperes (kVA) to cater to the needs in areas from Papar to Kota Kinabalu, apart from water supply.

“When we already finish paying back the debt for the construction of this dam in probably six to seven years, the State Government will be able to collect at least RM500 million annually and this will be used for the development of Sabah,” he said. 

In terms of benefit to the area (near Papar dam), he said all the road networks would be upgraded and “we will ensure that we will take into account and assist all the residents around there.

“Indeed there is a bit of objection from people in the area, especially from the Penampang side. But I was made to understand according to the new design, the proposed dam will be built further up. So it is no longer within Penampang area but in Papar. 

“At least it will not be complicated because there are people in Penampang who objected to the construction of this dam.

“But, as I mentioned, like it or not, we have to build this dam. There is a dam in China which is already hundred years old but still operational without a problem. 

“We also know that the Babagon dam in Penampang can no longer meet the needs of Kota Kinabalu right now. There was a suggestion for the Babagon dam to be upgraded, but based on the design of the Babagon dam it cannot be upgraded and whatever the capacity it supports now, that’s it. 

“We hope the Papar dam will help us to resolve the water problem we have in Sabah,” he said.

On July 4, last year, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had said the State Government would proceed with the TAED project, as it would create many employment opportunities for the people. 

Saying that the State was now under the rule of a new government, he did not want to rush through the project without obtaining public feedback.

“No development will be carried out at the expense of the people. As such, the government will undertake an in-depth study to determine if the project should be scaled down or if other steps should be taken,” he said during the State Legislative Assembly sitting. Mohd Shafie said the State Government has so far spent about RM60 million on the project which would only continue after a review is undertaken.

“This is the same as in the case of the Pan Borneo Highway project, it must proceed but I understand that it will be restructured given the current financial constraints,” he said.

The month earlier, City Hall placed the Tanjung Aru Eco Development project on hold until a new directive was received from the new State Government.

The TAED project, spanning 348 hectares, was gazetted on March 5, 2017, to provide a facelift to Tanjung Aru, which is already a renowned tourist attraction. 


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