Quality of roads questioned

National 2 minutes, 30 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MORE than 50 per cent of roads in Brunei Darussalam are considered good and above average, according to the Minister of Development.

Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah was responding to questions from Legislative Council members yesterday on how roads in the country do not meet international quality and standards.

Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman said “Every year the government spends a great deal of money that goes to the building, maintenance and improvements of roads (so) why does the country’s road surfaces not meet international standards?”

In response, YB Dato Hj Bahrin said less than 50 per cent of the roads in Brunei are considered poor and that the ministry already intends to improve them.

“All of us have experienced that our roads are in good condition with only some that are less than satisfying,” he said.

Yang Berhormat Hj Awg Ahmad Morshidi Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Abdul Rahman addressed the fact that there is no governmental body focuses on the daily management of roads.

Due to this, he said, it is difficult to achieve the best practices of road management in the country.

“Therefore the establishment of a government body that overlooks the maintenance of roads full time is needed in order to be well informed of when to add, renovate or maintain (the roads),” he said.

YB Hj Awg Ahmad Morshidi then questioned the Minister of Development whether the ministry has any plans to take over the daily management of roads.

As of yesterday, the Minister of Development has yet to address the question put forth by YB Hj Awg Ahmad Morshidi.

Among other issues that were raised were the road conditions of rural areas in the sultanate mainly by Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad and Yang Berhormat Hj Jumat Akim.

YB Hj Mohd Shafiee wanted answers on the timeline for the improvement of the roads from Kg Buau to Kg Melilas in Belait.

It was previously reported that residents of Kg Melilas, a small village located at the southernmost part of the Belait district, said that there have been talks of road improvements in the area two years ago which they have yet to see.

Similarly, YB Hj Jumat lamented on the road conditions of certain areas in Zone 4 of the Brunei-Muara district.

He said that the authorities should be aware of the need for improvement on the roads of Jalan Bebuloh to Kg Wasan, Jalan Kecil Emang and Jalan Batong.

In his response to YB Hj Mohd Shafiee, the development minister said that the upgrade of the road from Kg Buau to Kg Melilas has already been approved and the project will take two years to complete.

Meanwhile in reference to YB Hj Jumat Akim’s question, YB Dato Hj Bahrin said that there are multiple plans regarding the upgrade of roads in the sultanate is subject to its priority as well as the consideration of the 11th National Development Plan.

 The Brunei Times