High hopes pinned on BSB revival plan

National 2 minutes, 50 seconds


THE design and implementation of a Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) Development Master Plan is hoped to be able to revive the Sultanate's city status as a popular and interesting destination for both the local population and tourists.

Home Affairs Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Md Yusof said that one of the challenges faced by BSB is the increasing popularity of commercial areas such as Gadong, Kiulap and Serusop that have progress and expanded exponentially.

"With the BSB Development Master Plan, it is hoped that we will be able to discuss and formulate action plans to promote and increase economical activities, sales and attract more visitors including tourists to the city centre," he said during the BSB Development Master Plan roadshow held yesterday at the Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong.

"The coordination of progress of BSB or lack of, is also a challenge that has to be overcome," added the minister.

He explained that this was caused by the lack of a comprehensive planned guideline or implementation process.

"Whatever project or development planned by the ministry, government and private sector in the BSB area will have to be coordinated by the Municipal Board in line with the BSB Development Master Plan," he pointed out adding that this is to ensure that the development will be more harmonious, orderly and not go haywire.

According to Pehin Dato Hj Adanan, another challenge that would have to be tackled would be the development and upgrading of Kampong Air to ensure that the water village is not left behind and forgotten from the progress.

This is to ensure that the water village becomes more sustainable and to continuously remain as a unique tourist attraction, said the minister.

He also also use the opportunity to remind the various ministries, government departments, stakeholders, private sector and the public to play their respective role in providing cooperation to determine the problems, issues and challenges that might stand in the way of implementing the development master plan.

"The development plan of a town or city can not be prepared with just the efforts of a consultant," he said.

The BSB Development Master Plan is a comprehensive and integrated development plan formulated for the purpose of strategic development of the Sultanate's capital towards the year 2035 and beyond.

"This plan will underline the development strategies that will become the map towards achieving our hopes of the city becoming ideal, dynamic and vibrant, compared to other regional and global cities," he said.

Pehin Dato Hj Adanan also spoke about some of the aspirations to be achieved by the plan. One of such hopes was the changing BSB into a safe, friendly and liveable city which will double as a centre for the country's governmental and administratve centre.

"We also hope to make BSB a city in the garden that has a clean environment, free of pollution," he said, adding that the capital city will also be equipped with a communication and transportation system that is efficient.

"I am full of confident that with the appointment of HOK Planning Group... we will be capable of formulating a master plan of international standards that is world class and competitive in comparison with other developing cities in the world," he added.

The Brunei Times