Sime not pleased with Sukau bridge proposal
Published on: Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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Kota Kinabalu: Sime Darby Foundation hopes that the Sabah government would make all necessary considerations before deciding to go ahead with the construction of a bridge across the Kinabatangan river, the Star reports.The proposed project, which is said to link Sukau to Kalan Morisem along the Lower Kinabatangan, has raised numerous concerns among environmentalists.

They are worried that the project in the eco-sensitive Kinabatangan area, which is part of the Heart of Borneo conservation zone, could affect wildlife's movement.

"We at Sime Darby Foundation are not comfortable with this proposed project and we hope that the authorities would seriously look at alternative plans for the bridge, such as relocating it to a less sensitive area," foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam said.

He said they have committed almost RM8mil for various environment conservation projects in the critical area of the lower Kinabatangan and the proposed development could further fragment forested areas in the area.

He said the foundation, together with Nestle, is supporting a reforestation project called "Project Rileaf" which aims to rehabilitate critical riparian areas at the lower Kinabatangan.

"Riparian forests there are important to wildlife as they connect fragmented forested areas which are home to elephants and other Borneon endemic species," Musa said.

"This would undermine the environmental conservation efforts diligently pursued by all stakeholders in the area," he added.

The proposed RM69mil bridge project was supposed to kick off in January this year but was postponed due to various objections. The project involves Lot 3 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and was supposed to be carried out in several phases.

Under the first phase, besides the bridge, there would also be a new road built from Jalan Sukau up to the bridge.

A second phase would involve building a 1,000m-wide viaduct, which would look like a flyover across the elephant sanctuary area and there would also be another 8.5km road with it.



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