GERIK: Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah yesterday launched the Royal Belum Amanjaya stop, the gateway to the Belum-Temenggor Tropical Forest (BTTR) and the Royal Belum State park, near Pulau Banding.
The stop was previously known as the Pangkalan Aman public jetty.
Its development was a joint project by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), Public Works Department, Gerik District Council and Perbadanan Taman Negeri Perak (PTKNPk).
The upgrading of the jetty began in January 2014 and was completed in September 2016 at a cost of RM20.4 million. Its facilities include shoplots, a food court, parking lots and a helipad.
Accompanying Sultan Nazrin were his consort, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja Muda of Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa and Raja Dihilir Perak Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain Sultan Idris Shah and Raja Puan Muda of Perak Tunku Soraya Sultan Abdul Halim.
Present were Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his wife, Datin Seri Saripah Zulkifli, state Rural Development, Agriculture, Information and Human Capital Development Committee chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad and NCIA chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq.
Several agencies under PTKNPk also have offices at the new jetty.
Saarani said it was hoped that the new jetty would allow for greater development in Hulu Perak, especially in the tourism and environment sectors.
Meanwhile, Redza said the number of visitors to BTTR had increased by nearly 200 per cent since NCIA began promoting the area in 2010.
He said in 2010, there were only 9,310 visitors, but this had increased to 27,327 last year.
“The Royal Belum area has seen an increase in economic activities with the arrival of tourists,” he said.
Redza said apart from the cost of upgrading the jetty, RM4.7 million was spent to develop the surrounding areas, including building campsites at three locations.
He said BTTR was the main attraction in the Northern Corridor Economic Region, based on surveys carried out at locations in the region.
Redza said NCIA had ensured that the Orang Asli community would not be left out in reaping the benefits of its development initiatives.