BESUT: The sleepy fishing village of Kuala Besut will be transformed into a lively entity when the RM250 million facelift is completed by 2020.
Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said the facelift would include the rehabilitation of the Sungai Besut estuary to turn the fishing village into an International Tourism Gateway.
“This gateway is destined to spur socio-economic growth not only for the village but the state as well, as more tourists are expected to use this facility.
“Fishing and boating activities will be improved once the estuary is deepened, thus, more job opportunities will be created.
“Fishermen will be able to improve their catches, and bigger and more vessels will be able to ply between the jetty and the idyllic islands of Pulau Perhentian, Redang, Lang Tengah and others, all in a safer surrounding,” he said.
Kuala Besut has a population of 164,200, made up mainly of fishermen, and is a direct port to the islands.
It is already synonymous for its 'pasar tani' selling an array of agriculture and fishing produce.
The Kuala Besut estuary rehabilitation over a 50ha site was necessary in view of the shallow depth which affected boating and fishing activities, and often caused flash floods, not to mention the danger from tidal waves.
"Apart from deepening of the estuary, we will build a southern 1.85km long and northern 1.3km long wave-breaker. There will also be a beach nourishment of 100m wide and 2km long reclaimation to the Kelantan border, to minimise erosion," said Razif, adding the developments were part of the New Terengganu Transformation programme.
The RM250 million allocation is part of the total of RM1.15 billion development fund for Terengganu for 34 projects, to be undertaken under a 'second rolling plan' via the 11the Malaysia Plan (2016-2020).
Among the major projects in the state are the RM97.8 million anti-erosion contract at the Tok Jembal beach.
Another RM750 million has been allocated for the Sungai Kemaman integrated river distribution development; the rehabilitation of the Setiu, Paka, Merchang and Cepuh Telemong rivers; the Kemasik, Guntung Luar Setiu, Kuala Terengganu North and Gong Kiat Kuala Terengganu flood mitigation plans; and Setiu lagoon bund construction.
The RM1.15 billion allocation was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during his two-day visit to Terengganu that ended on Sunday.
During the visit, the prime minister also launched 229 units of Rumah Idaman Rakyat on a 10.4ha site in Dungun and a another Projek Perumahan Rakyat scheme in Tepoh, Kuala Nerus.
Najib also assured Besut folk that the Kuala Besut-Gua Musang-Kuala Berang trunk road upgrading project will take off soon to provide greater access and boost Besut's socio-economic development.