Remaining residents make way for Temburong Bridge
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THREE families from Kg Sungai Besar in Mukim Kota Batu have been relocated to government housing so their homes can be demolished to make way for construction of the Temburong Bridge.
Kg Sg Besar Village Chief Hj Chuchu Hj Ibrahim told The Brunei Times that the families, who were the only remaining residents to be relocated, had been living in stilt houses but now have new homes in the Kg Meragang National Housing Scheme (NHS) and Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme (STKRJ) in Kg Katok.
He said 13 other families’ homes were demolished last year after they were relocated to the Kg Meragang National Housing Scheme.
The three remaining families were given a deadline by the Public Works Department (JKR) to vacate their homes before the start of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, said Hj Chuchu.
“The residents asked to be given a few weeks before vacating their stilt houses as they needed to wait for their compensated houses to be fully renovated... They moved out during the first week of this month,” he added.
“The reason the residents were asked to move out early was to prevent a delay in the government project. It’s to speed up the process of clearing the land,” he said.
The $1.6 billion Temburong-Brunei-Muara bridge, scheduled to be completed in 2018, is expected to reduce travel time between the two districts to about 20 minutes.
One of the three residents, Hj Serudin Talip, said in a recent interview that he accepted compensation in the form of another house even though it wasn’t wheelchair-friendly for his two children with special needs.
The 74-year-old said the new house at Kg Katok A has stairs, making it difficult for his two wheelchair-bound children to move around.
Hj Chuchu advised Hj Serudin to write an official letter to JAPEM and the Housing Development Department requesting that an extension be built at the house.
The village chief said he would help forward the letter to the respective authorities.
“In this case, the residents were asked to move out. It’s not what the residents want, it’s what the government wants. There’s a difference. The government should provide special treatment for these people,” he said.
Hj Chuchu urged the Housing Development Department to re-evaluate the law to cater to the needs of Hj Serudin’s case.
An official from the Housing Development Department who requested anonymity said the department will work with other government agencies to cater to Hj Serudin’s needs.
The Brunei Times