Kuala Belait - The Kargu Dam that was completed back in November 2011 at a cost of $34 million is expected to officially open within the month.
The dam, located at the upper reaches of Sungai Kargu approximately 10km south of Kg Sungai Liang in the Belait District, is to ensure water supply for domestic and industrial use in the future as the demand for water is increasing every year. It will be a major source of drinking water for the Belait District, as well as BSP and BLNG for the oil and gas production.
Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi bin Hj Osman visited the Kargu Dam yesterday, where he later led a tree-plantation initiative carried out with the Forestry Department to replace trees that were cut down during the construction of the dam, which commenced in October 2007.
The replanting effort is part of an environmental improvement plan, seeing to the planting of over 3,000 saplings in the vicinity.
The trees had to be cleared to allow for major earthworks. The Ministry of Development and Public Works Department assessed the environmental impact and carried out mitigation measures to reduce the negative impacts.
In an interview with the Bulletin, the minister said, "We will be launching the Kargu Dam this March, and the .dam is part of our five-year development plan. Today we are planting trees to beautify the areas."
When asked about the delay in launching the dam, the minister explained, "The whole project was completed in 2011. However, we had to wait for the water to come up to the proper 13 million cubic metres."
The Kargu Dam and Reservoir will increase the security of water supplies in the Belait District, reducing the risk of water shortages in the area during dry spells. The reservoir can store up to 10 milllion cubic metres of raw water, which will be released at times of low flow in the Sungai Belait to meet the demand of water at the Badas Pumping Stations.
Given the beautiful scenery at Kargu Dam, the minister did not dismiss the idea of opening the area up for public recreational use.
"It is a good place, but we have to take other issues into consideration before we can open it up to the public. This is something we will decide on in the future."
The Kargu Dam project comes under MWHC Consultant and the contractor is TSL Construction Sdn Bhd.
The day also saw the minister inspecting the flyover project along the Brunei-Muara Highway and Tutong at the junction of Tutong Telisai and Jalan Perumahan Bukit Beruang. The project will take 18 months to complete. The contractor for the project is Surato Construction Sdn Bhd.
Carrying a $17 million price tag, the project aims to provide a route for traffic flow from Bukit Beruang heading to Tutong town, and from Telisai to Bukit Beruang Housing area without the use of a u-turn. The flyover will reduce the incidences of accident at the u-turn and also improve traffic flow.
The project, the minister explained, "has been awarded to the constructor and works commenced after the signing of the contract. We are also looking at the design of the flyover to further improve traffic flow. At the moment, the design shows too many loops and covers a lot of areas."
The project, he said, "will do away with a u-turn along the highway. We are also thinking of putting up similar infrastructure in other part of the country."
The minister and his delegation then visited the last project site of the day, the installation of main water pipes from Bukit Barun to Brunei-Muara District. The $85 million project commenced in March 2012 and will be completed by September 2013.
The scope of work includes transfer of 80MLD of treated water from Bukit Barun Water Treatment plant to Terunjing Reservoir and installing the 1,200mm mild steel pipes, external protective coasting with Polyurethane, and internal protective coating with Epoxy. The total length of the pipes is 65km.
With the new water supply, water capacity will be increased to cater to areas especially in Malabua and Menteri housing areas.
"The installation project is still ongoing and well ahead of schedule. However, we haven't yet come to the difficult part."
Satisfied with the progress of the project, he added, "These are some of the projects we feel will be good to highlight to the public."
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin