21st March, 2017
NEW … Pairin (left) presenting a mock key to Melvin as Ghulam (second left), Bobbey (third left) and others look on.
By ERIC BAGANG
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah State Railway Department (JKNS) has received RM99.5 million allocation from the Transport Ministry to upgrade the railway track from Halogilat to Tenom.
Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said that the allocation which was approved under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) also includes the procurement of three sets of Diesel Multiple Units (DMU).
The projects which will commence this year are expected to be completed within 18 and 24 months respectively.
“Apart from that, the federal government has approved an allocation of RM1 million this year to conduct a study to identify modern and suitable communication devices in order to improve safety along the rail track from Tanjung Aru to Tenom,” he told a press conference at the launching ceremony of a new DMU at the JKNS headquarters here yesterday.
The new DMU comprise three units and will be used for the Beaufort-Tenom sector to increase the department’s capacity in providing more comfortable and reliable service to the public especially those who are depending entirely on railway transport.
Pairin who is also the Infrastructure Development Minister said the new DMU which cost RM7.62 million has a passenger capacity of 192 and can reach a speed of 90 kilometres per hour.
JKNS has also acquired rail buses that have been in operation servicing the Tanjung Aru-Beaufort sector, each with a passenger capacity of 60.
“The department has also been using a Tamping Machine to maintain the railway track more systemically and effectively.
“All these assets were procured at the cost of RM13 million allocated by the state government.
“Under the 11MP, the state government has approved a ceiling budget of RM47 million for the 2016-2020 period to fund JKNS’ development programme.
“A total of RM5.43 million in allocation has been approved in 2017 to implement various projects such as railway track maintenance, procurement of equipment, and the upgrade of signalling system,” he added.
Pairin also disclosed that JKNS has signed a memorandum of understanding with Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) on May 18, 2016, for the latter to train JKNS’ staff in order to improve their railway management skills.
According to Pairin, JKNS has transported a total of 494,638 passengers in 6,170 trips throughout 2016.
At the same time, he said that the department also recorded 134 service cancellations due to technical problems and weather condition, which is a big drop from 762 cancellations recorded in 2015.
He also said that JKNS is taking various steps to improve safety along the entire railway track especially at its 51 level crossings.
Also present were Infrastructure Development Assistant Ministers, Datuk Ghulam Haidar Bahadar Khan and Datuk Bobbey Suan, and JKNS general manager, Melvin V Majanga.