KAPIT: Those who have not gone back to or pass Kapit for some time are surprised to see the heavy traffic jam along Jalan Bletih, the main road leading to the town centre.
The single-lane stretch would almost always get congested by noon every day, much to the annoyance of the motorists.
“I left Sibu at noon on Monday and reached Kampung Cina Bletih around 2.30pm. But it was from there to Bletih Industrial Zone that I got stuck in traffic for almost two hours,” complained Andrew Yii.
He said the drive along Jalan Kanowit, passing Ngemah and Song, was ‘normal and uninterrupted’, but upon reaching Kampung Cina Bletih, the cars seemed to have come to a halt, because of the long queue before the traffic light at Jalan Airport, intersecting Jalan Bletih.
“What was supposed to be a 10-minute drive from Kampung Cina Bletih to Kapit town, turned to a couple of hours of frustration,” he lamented.
A local contractor, who wished to be identified only as Kiew, said this was already a norm in Kapit.
“Nowadays, a trip from my office near the bus station at Bletih to Kapit town would at least take three hours. Many others also experience this.
“The main challenge, I think, is the narrow road with many bends and also sections that go uphill and downhill, which force everyone to go slow.
“I think the government should look into upgrading Jalan Bletih and Jalan Airport into town into dual-carriageways,” said Kiew, who hails from Sarikei.
The Borneo Post also spoke to local businessman Tay Ah Joo about the situation, which he believed could be partly attributed to more people using roads to go to Kapit now than back in the day when express boats were still in service.
“Take Gawai, for example. Before 2020, the people had no choice but travel by express boats from Sibu to Kapit. Now, the roads are good, and the express boats had ceased to be in operation because of no passenger.
“Yet, this road is only a onelane drive, so of course the traffic jam becomes worse during a festive season. Hopefully, the government would look into resolving this traffic problem,” said Tay.
The Borneo Post