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Electricity supply for Kota Belud folks – 7 years on
Published on: Tuesday, March 26, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Electricity supply for Kota Belud folks – 7 years on
SESB technicians check on the condition of the transmission lines leading to Kg Sogoh.
SEVEN years after poles, transmission lines and a substation were put in place in Kg Sogoh, Kota Belud, rural folk can finally have electricity supply extended to their homes.

A Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) spokesman said its staff in the district could begin accepting applications from residents in Kg Sogoh, as well as those living in another village nearby. 

“So far, no meters have been installed at either of these villages,” he said.     

This substation built seven years ago has finally been energised.

“Our system in these areas was energised at the end of last month, once the ‘tapping points’ to our grid servicing the town had been finalised.”

He was responding to feedback about the difficulty which a Kg Sogoh resident had experienced in getting power, let alone a meter, at his home.

HARBINDER claimed that cables were erected and connections were made to several premises in this part of Kota Belud “years ago”.

However, no supply has ever been channelled to these households, according to him.

“I have enquired with SESB about this problem but, so far, have yet to receive a satisfactory response as to why the poles and overhead lines were put up in the first place,” he said.

Harbinder said many of those living in the village had to depend on a generator to get by.

“We have to spend a few hundred ringgit each month on fuel for our respective generators.”  

He estimated that about 1,000-plus individuals resided in Kg Sogoh which was located about 15kilometres away from the town.

The complainant’s niece points to the empty wooden panel where an electricity meter would have been installed at her uncle’s house.

The spokesman explained that the electrical infrastructure in the village was set up by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry in 2017.

He said the pertinent installations were also put in place at 18 other villages, including Kg Bukid Kembura, Kg Gaur, Kg Pinolobu, Kg Takulung, Kg Lumpios, Kg Lasau Minunsud, Kg Botung, Kg Tengkurus, Kg Gondukut, Kg Lahanas, Kg Taginambur Jaya, Kg Tamalang, Kg Bukit Bendera, Kg Tororobo Tuguson, Kg Talungan, Kg Teguson, Kg Nahaba and Kg Toburon.

This work was carried out as part of the Rural Electrification Project, according to him. 

“Outstanding issues, involving the infrastructure, held up efforts to have power extended to these areas over the intervening years,” he said.

The spokesman said SESB had been unable to assume responsibility for the electrical amenities from the Ministry because the Project still had not been finished.

“These installations can only be commissioned once we receive the hand-over documents.”

The spokesman said the company wrote to the Ministry towards the end of 2023, requesting an update on the status of the Project.

“In our letter, we also sought the Ministry’s input on the direction of the work which was still being implemented by its appointed contractor.”

He said the individual met with SESB staff in Kota Belud in January to talk about a potential way forward.

“We were made to understand, at that stage, that about 80 per cent of the Project had been completed.

“The contractor was apparently arranging to obtain an allocation from the Ministry to finish the remaining 20 per cent of the work.”

Kg Sogoh aside, the spokesman said the company was working together with the Ministry to gradually energise the systems in the remaining villages.

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