A trailer stuck in the middle of steel bridge cutting the link between Belaga and Bintulu for a day recently. (File photo/BO).

KUCHING: The main 130km-long road linking Bintulu and Belaga is badly damaged and in need of immediate repair, Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri James Jamut Masing said today.

He said the three-hour trip on the road was no longer safe for small vehicles especially with the presence of timber trucks.

“Due to several issues concerning the river, which had served as an important transportation route between Belaga and Kapit, the residents now had to use the land route to reach Bintulu.

“However, the road is now badly damaged and unsafe for users,” he told a press conference in conjunction with Sarawak Masters Cup Golf Tournament 2011 at Sarawak Gold Club here today.

Masing said the Rejang river route via Jeram Pelagus was getting too shallow to accommodate boats and hence, cutting off all connections from Belaga to Kapit.

To overcome the problem, he said a contract had been given to a local contractor to use explosives to deepen the river in Jeram Pelagus, so that it could to facilitate express boats.

He said apart from causing difficulties to the local residents, the poor condition of the Bintulu-Belaga road had also affected the number of tourist arrivals to Belaga, as well as to Bakun and Murum dams.

Meanwhile, Masing said 240 golfers would participate in the Sarawak Masters Cup Golf Tournament 2011, which would begin on Nov 19 until Nov 24.

The six-day tournament offers a total prize money of RM80,000, he added. – Bernama