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RM30 million allocated to upgrade Gerik-Jeli highway, says Anwar

The prime minister says the additional allocation is for the one-off maintenance cost of the highway.

2 minute read
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Photo: Bernama

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has announced an additional allocation of RM30 million for upgrading the East-West Highway linking Gerik to Jeli.

He said the allocation was for the one-off maintenance cost of the highway, estimated at RM80 million to RM100 million.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said there were many requests for road maintenance allocations throughout the country, and he would consider them when tabling the second Madani budget in October.

"But today I can approve an additional 30 million ringgit for upgrading this road (highway)," he said when launching the MyJalan campaign of the works ministry in Gerik today.

Also present were Works Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi and Perak Menteri Besar Saarani Mohamad.

Earlier, Nanta had announced an initial allocation of RM30 million from the works ministry for the upgrading and maintenance of the route.

Anwar also said this year the government had approved additional allocations totalling RM370 million for the maintenance of federal roads throughout the country.

He said RM300 million was for the maintenance of federal roads, not provided for in the contracts with concession companies.

"A total of RM20 million is a special allocation for district engineers and RM50 million for the installation and maintenance of lights in accident-prone areas," he said.

He said the government had also approved allocations of RM250 million for maintenance works involving small Bumiputera contractors.

The prime minister also announced a RM1,000 consolation payment to each of the 87 families of Public Works Department (JKR) workers involved in the construction of the East-West Highway (JRTB) (FT004) in recognition of their sacrifices.

Anwar also presented mementoes to 37 former workers and the next of kin of those involved in building JRTB (FT004).

On May 21, 1974, a communist attack damaged scores of heavy machinery, and on Aug 27, 1974, three JKR workers were killed while working on the highway project.

At a press conference today, Nanta said work to repair the route would be implemented as soon as possible by the concession company.

"With this additional allocation, we can spend on more substantive work and not just patch up the ageing highway.

"This route can also be 'reconstructed' where possible, and it is up to the technical authorities to decide on the repairs to be done using this allocation," he said.

Asked if this allocation would cover the installation of additional lighting on the route, he said all needs would have to be studied first.

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