Under the original plan, only about 3,000 people in 10 villages along Jalan Tamparuli-Ranau would have benefited from the project, which has an approved budget of RM26.3 million.
The 10 villages include Kapa, Puhus, Koporingan, Minangkob, Togop, Hamad, Tomis Baru, Sinalapak and Kelawat.
The proposed modification to the plan would add another RM16.6 million to the original cost.
But it would see more villages benefitting, including Loputung, Ruhiang, Tiong-Tiong, Kitapol, Gayaratau, Bundu Tuhan Bambangan Baru, Parad and Koliposuan in the Tuaran parliamentary constituency.
A meeting, chaired by Tuaran MP Wilfred Madius Tangau on Tuesday here, set the course for a resubmission of the project to the rural and regional development ministry.
All stakeholders, as well as Kiulu assemblyman Joniston Bangkuai and Tangau, were given a comprehensive briefing on the revised plan, which included the various options available, as presented by the project consultants.
Although the project has already been approved, further study done by the consultants showed there were other options that would be more efficient than the original plan to bring the water supply from the Telibong water treatment plant.
One of the hindering factors was the steep terrain. At least eight booster pumps are needed along the water mains to compensate for the low water pressure.
The new plan resubmitted to the government proposed that the water treatment plant be built in the catchment area near the top of the hill in Kampung Lobong-Lobong.
The water can then be distributed down to the villages concerned more efficiently.
In fact, several other villages at the Kota Belud side also stand to benefit if this proposal is approved.
The project is designed to cater to demand for 30 years, which is calculated to be at 4.1 million litres daily (mld) in 2047, compared with 1.469 mld in 2017.
Tangau said all the village heads in the areas concerned were called to attend the briefing to update them on the latest developments on the project.
“We also want them to relocate any houses which are far from the main water pipe, since the installation of pipes to houses located further from the water mains will incur greater cost,” he said.
At the same time, Tangau, who is the federal science, technology and innovation minister, said the involvement of the village leaders was imperative to ensure the project fully benefited the people.
“We also need to inform the people about the proposed changes to the project.
“This project is significant to ensure they are able to enjoy consistent clean water supply in their houses.
“This has always been an issue close to my heart. We have assisted in carrying out short-term measures.
“This proposal will provide a comprehensive remedy,” Tangau said.