Landslide-hit highway expected to fully open on Sunday

Landslide-hit highway expected to fully open on Sunday
Clearing works at the site of the landslide on the Karak Highway.
PHOTO: China Press

BENTONG - All four lanes of the Karak Highway are expected to be reopened at 2pm today following a three-day closure due to a landslide.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said two lanes of the Karak Highway were reopened yesterday.

The two lanes for both directions are from the 52.4km to the 50km stretch of the highway.

Fadillah said the delay in the ­reopening was due to repair works that were still being carried out by the highway concessionaire.

"Motorists are advised to adhere to the signboards and instructions from highway officers at the site," he said.

"Concessionaire Anih Bhd and the Malaysian Highway Authority will monitor the situation and users will be notified of new deve­lopments from time to time."

In Wednesday's incident, the Lentang-Bukit Tinggi stretch of the highway was hit by the landslide that buried at least four vehicles.

Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah, who paid a visit to the site yesterday, ordered the route to be reopened immediately for the sake of motorists.

The Sultan said at least two lanes should be reopened since the highway was an important link between the east coast states and Kuala Lumpur.

"I believe the road has already been cleared," he told reporters after visiting 15 families affected by the landslide at the Lentang mosque here.

He said a meeting would be called soon with all the relevant agencies to discuss measures to be taken to ensure there would not be a repeat incident.

The Sultan also denied claims that the landslide was caused by illegal logging activities at the forest reserve area, adding that if there were, the culprits involved should be arrested.

Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob had been reported as saying that the landslide was a natural disaster unrelated to logging, although Tenaga Nasional Bhd had done land clearing to make way for high tension cables.

He stressed that the site was some distance away from the disaster area and that the project had stopped months ago.

TNB denied that its projects were the cause of the landslides.

Its senior general manager (corporate affairs and communications) Datuk Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Amin said its two project sites were 780m from where the landslide occurred.

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