No access to proposed filling station

National 2 minutes, 55 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

KOPERASI Rimba Berhad (KRB) is expressing concerns over the delay from government agencies for approval of access road to the land that has been leased to them since 2010 for the building of Rimba petrol station.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, the executives of KRB showed that they have been applying for an access road to the land since January 2010 and have yet to be given any signs of approval.

They said that without the approved access road to the site, KRB could not enter and develop the said land, although they already started paying for the land since 2010 which costs almost $30,000 per year.

“It’s like we are renting a room in a hotel. We already have the key to the room, it’s already paid for, we are being charged for it, but we are still standing outside and cannot get into the room.”

To this day, the project is yet to materialise as KRB is facing the ‘delay’ from the government agencies.

According to KRB, the access road to the land particularly has faced several challenges as it was rejected three times by the Land Department who was the deciding factor in granting KRB the access road. They further expressed their dissatisfaction with the inconsistencies of the excuses given by the Land Department.

The first letter in 2013 said that the application of the access road was not approved without giving further suggestions or recommendations to the applicant (KRB).

The second one in the same year from the Land Department also reiterated that the application was not successful but gave four options that were suggested by the Royal Brunei Police Force.

Upon acknowledgement of this, KRB complied with the suggested routes and came up with another proposal which was presented and approved by the JKR. However, the latest letter from the Land Department in 2015 showed another disappointing result as the department rejected the proposal again with reasons that were already overcome by KRB after the second letter. They went on to say that because of the delay from the government agencies, they are also facing pressure from members of KRB who invested in the project.

“Because of this (the delay), people think we are no longer active and the project is abandoned. We have to explain to them that we are still fighting for the project and waiting for the approval of accessing our land in order for us to develop it.”

They also said that much ‘money and time’ are wasted while waiting for the approval to get into their land as they also had to pay numerously for other technical needs such as the surveyor, consultant and architect.

“Before, we estimated that the project will costs around 1.2 million but now, as we recalculate everything, it will cost us more than two million to get the project going again,” they added.

“Our main objective in establishing this Rimba petrol station is for the good of the community here, to spur business activities as well as embracing the call of His Majesty in making us not relying solely on the government for incomes.

“We need the cooperation and support from the relevant government agencies in making this project a reality, by assisting us not making it more difficult for us.”

When approached by The Brunei Times, the Land Department declined to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, other government agencies involved in the matter also did not respond to questions despite being given ample time to do so.

The Brunei Times