Catamaran boats to ease congestion in Kuching
A catamaran boat will be used as a river taxi to ply along the Sarawak River serving points such as the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), Medan Niaga Satok and Batu Kawah. This will ease traffic congestion in roads in Kuching city, said Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said building of the RM3 million boat was nearing completion. “The design of the boat is based on river taxis used in river in
Brisbane, Australia,” he disclosed.
The project, he said, would encourage the people to use river to travel while promoting river cruise in Sarawak River. “It will be used not only by tourists and locals but also convention participants who stay at hotels along the Sarawak River in the city triangle and they can travel down to BCCK.
“This will ease the traffic congestion in roads in Kuching. This is unique because there is no facility like this in Singapore, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur,” he told reporters after inspecting the construction of the boat at Tuong Aik Shipyard in Sungai Bidut here yesterday.
Assistant Housing Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Rashid Khan, Tuong Aik Shipyard managing director Datuk Lau Nai Hoh, Sarawak Rivers Board controller William Jinep and Tourism Ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik were among those accompanying Abang Johari.
Abang Johari said the boat to be operated by STB would berth at BCCK jetty where air-conditioned bridge crossing the jetty to BCCK lobby would be built at a cost of RM5.6 million. The boat, he said, would sail from Sibu to Kuching on Sept 4 and later to be launched by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in conjunction with Sarawak 50th Independence anniversary celebration. Meanwhile, Lau said the boat with two units of 750 hp engine would have a seating capacity of 75. “It takes six months to build,” he said. Source.