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Last Update: 22 Nov 2018
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Wetlands Waterfront project – a window to Batu Kawa
Posted on : 15 Oct 2018  Source of News: http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/10/15/wetlands-waterfront-project-a-window-to-batu-kawa/
 

Lo Khere Chiang

KUCHING: The proposed Batu Kawa Wetlands Waterfront project is expected to commence by January next year.

Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang, who confirmed this yesterday, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pledged an initial grant of RM5 million.

According to the Batu Kitang assemblyman, the cost of the beautification may go beyond RM5 million.

“At the moment, it is RM5 million. The waterfront is so long; as development takes place in Batu Kawa, the waterfront can be extended further, depending on requirements,” he said when approached by journalists after attending a function here.

Lo reiterated that the RM5 million pledged by the Chief Minister “is to get the ball rolling”.

“There is room for expansion. It is going to be a very good project.”

He said MPP is in the process of preparing tender drawings and specifications.

Such preparation is expected to take two months, he added.

“After which will be the tendering and award of the project which should be done by end of this year. The construction should commence by Jan 2019,” he said.

The project was approved last July 10 following a walkabout in Batu Kawa by the Chief Minister.

Of the approved grant, Lo said RM3 million is for the construction work scheduled for next year while the remaining RM2 million is for the year 2020.

The project is expected to be delivered by Nov 2020.

Lo pointed out that the project site is right under the Batu Kawa Bridge which is subjected to flooding.

Once the project is completed, he said the Batu Kawa Old Bazaar will enjoy tourism-related benefits.

He said the landscape architect involved had made good use of the terrains in the surrounding area besides having designed the ‘Batu Kawa Sky Window’ at the waterfront.

“I think it will be good ‘feng shui’ for Batu Kawa especially the Sky Window that will offer a scenic view.”

He was confident that the Batu Kawa Wetlands Waterfront would help draw crowds to the old bazaar.

At present, he said people from the city make trips to the Old Bazaar for Hakka meat noodles, traditional sundry and handicraft shops during weekends.

Not only are these traditional buildings an attraction but the farms outside and around the old bazaar also pull in visitors especially families, he added.

“Batu Kawa is a nostalgic town. There are a lot of farms around and as people drive along the winding roads to get to the old bazaar, it is a good experience.

“All those farms are open to visitors. Batu Kawa Old Bazaar has developed into a tourist hub. It is full of people especially during weekends,” he remarked.

Once the waterfront materialised, Lo believed that more people will throng the old bazaar.

He added that the Batu Kawa Wetlands Waterfront project will “give a new lease of life not just to Batu Kawa but the city as a whole.”