Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sungai Rajang Sudah Boleh Dilalui Bot Ekspress

SEMASA SISA KAYU BALAK MASIH LAGI MEMENUHI SUNGAI RAJANG


SELEPAS BEBERAPA HARI KAYU BALAK HANYUT DIBAWA ARUS SUNGAI DAN SELAMAT UNTUK DILALUI

Current and Newest news taken from New Straits Times [http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/20navi-2/Article/]

SIBU: Sungai Rajang became navigable again yesterday after a massive logjam caused by widespread landslides upriver cleared, bringing relief to operators of passenger and cargo vessels. The long stretch of logs and debris floating downriver from Balleh in the Kapit division over the past two days have drifted to sea.

Nevertheless, officers from the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) and the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) were closely monitoring the situation, said Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh.


"They are also surveying the damage caused to wharves, jetties and other infrastructure, and will help to remove debris stuck there," he said after presenting a RM10,000 government grant for the construction of the new RM1.25 million St John's Anglican Church here.


Wong reiterated that the debris was not from the Bakun Dam area in Belaga, but Balleh in Kapit.

"The area, with its huge catchment, has experienced very heavy rainfall over the past few days, causing widespread landslides, erosion and flooding. The debris which was swept away could have been accumulated there for the past 40 or more years." Passenger and cargo boats are now able to travel safely and keep to their schedules.


Over the past two days, it had been nightmarish for the boat operators as they had to delay trips or stop halfway because of the huge quantities of logs and debris floating downriver.

Ling Kok Chung, 65, who runs the Bahagia Express boat service, said there were no less than 25 express boats plying Sungai Rajang, of which 16 ply daily from here to Kapit and back.


For some people living along the river, the logjam was sort of a windfall. They ventured out on the river in their longboats to collect logs to sell to the nearest sawmills, or for their own use.

Others benefited from the bountiful harvests of seemingly "drowsy" fish.

Civil servant Dollah Salleh, 55, said he went out from 8pm to midnight last night, and scooped up some 6kg of baong (a catfish species) from Sungai Igan, a tributary of Sungai Rajang.

In Kapit, some people managed to catch the empurau which is usually sold for about RM500 per kg.

In Miri, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan dismissed any notion that the logjam signalled the beginnings of an environmental disaster.

"It is not a natural disaster. I will not want to comment until I get the full report," he said after opening the Borneo International Beads Conference 2010.

He said all quarters should stop speculating on the causes of the log- jam and allow the authorities tasked with investigating the matter to complete their job.

Dr Chan, who is also the state Disaster Relief Committee chairman, said the wet weather lately could have triggered the situation.

Meanwhile, SRB chairman Roland Sagah said the board would make an attempt to remove all the wooden debris from Sungai Igan before it reached the South China Sea.

"We will not allow the debris to reach the sea because it will endanger navigation." -- Bernama

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Current and Newest News taken From Berita Harian Online [http://www.bharian.com.my/articles/SungaiRajangbolehdilalui_tiadakayuterapung/Article/]

SIBU: Pengusaha dan pemilik perkhidmatan bot penumpang, kargo dan bot laju lega apabila sungai Rajang yang sebelum ini dipenuhi sampah sarap berupa batang kayu yang terapung, kini sudah boleh digunakan.

Sampah sarap berupa batang kayu yang terapung di hilir sungai dari kawasan pedalaman Balleh di Bahagian Kapit, sejak dua hari lalu telah dihanyutkan ke laut.

Bagaimanapun, pegawai Lembaga Alam Sekitar dan Sumber Asli (NREB) dan Lembaga Sungai Sarawak (SRB) masih memantau keadaan itu," kata Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Sarawak Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh.

"Mereka juga sedang mengkaji kerosakan yang berlaku pada dermaga, jeti dan lain-lain infrastruktur dan akan membantu membersihkan sampah sarap yang tersangkut di situ," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menyampaikan geran kerajaan RM10,000 bagi pembinaan sebuah gereja di sini.


Wong mengulangi kenyataannya bahawa sampah sarap itu bukan dari kawasan empangan Bakun di Belaga tetapi dari Balleh di Kapit.

"Kawasan itu dengan kawasan tadahan yang luas telah mengalami taburan hujan yang agak banyak sejak beberapa lepas menyebabkan banyak kejadian tanah runtuh, hakisan sungai dan banjir.

"Sampah sarap berupa kayu itu hanyut dan mungkin terkumpul di sana sejak 40 tahun atau lebih," katanya. Bot-bot kini boleh bergerak mengikut jadual harian, dengan selamat.


Sejak dua hari lalu, ia adalah mimpi ngeri bagi mereka kerana perjalanan bot terpaksa ditangguhkan atau terlewat dari jadual atau perjalanan terpaksa dihentikan separuh jalan kerana jumlah batang-batang kayu yang terapung di hilir sungai terlalu banyak.

Menurut pemilik bot Bahagia Ekspress, Ling Kok Chung, 65, terdapat tidak kurang 25 bot ekspres menggunakan laluan sungai Rajang dengan 16 daripadanya berulang alik melalui kawasan ini dan Kapit setiap hari.

Sementara itu, kejadian itu seolah-seolah satu rahmat kepada penduduk yang tinggal di tebing sungai.

Dengan menggunakan bot panjang, mereka memungut batang-batang kayu yang hanyut itu untuk kegunaan sendiri atau dijual ke kilang kayu papan berdekatan.

Ada juga penduduk mendapat manfaat dengan ikan yang terapung-apung akibat keadaan itu.

Seorang penjawat awam di sini Dollah Salleh, 55, berkata beliau mampu membawa balik enam kilogram ikan baung dari Sungai Igan selepas keluar menangkap ikan selama empat jam mulai 8 malam.

Di Kapit, setengah penduduk lebih bernasib baik kerana mampu menangkap ikan empurau yang boleh dijual pada harga RM500 bagi satu kilogram.

Di MIRI, Timbalan Ketua Menteri Tan Sri Dr George Chan menolak pendapat bahawa fenomena di sungai Rajang itu menandakan satu bencana akan menimpa.

"Ia bukan satu bencana alam. Saya tidak mahu komen sehingga saya mendapat laporan penuh," katanya kepada pemberita selepa merasmikan persidangan ''Borneo International Beads'' 2010.


Katanya semua pihak perlu menghentikan spekulasi mengenai fenomena itu dan menyerahkan kepada pihak berkuasa untuk menjalankan siasatan.

Sesetengah pihak menyalahkan kegiatan pembalakan di hulu sungai atas kejadian itu.

Dr Chan, yang juga Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Bantuan Bencana Alam Negeri, berkata keadaan hujan kebelakangan ini mungkin menyebabkan kejadian itu.