Rural Roads Programme (JALB)
- The JALB was launched in 1977 through the Accelerated Rural Road Programme (ARRP) with its initial aim to speed up and increase the number of road construction projects in providing a transportation system that is significantly needed in rural areas. As a result, the roads constructed during the initial period were mostly laterite roads merely intended to provide accessibility.
- The JALB Program has been implemented in line with the policy statement, “to improve and expand the rural transportation system”, as well as the continuous effort towards increasing the coverage and improving the road network system in rural areas.
- In relation to this, rural roads are to be built according to a better design, surface and a higher geometric standard to ensure a longer period of utilisation and lower maintenance costs, while the existing roads are upgraded to the same standard. This higher standard would also encourage new industrial activities in rural areas, for example, by facilitating the mobility of commercial vehicles and heavy vehicles and consequently accelerate rural development.
- JALB is a road project for states but is funded by the Federal Government. As the roads are constructed according to JKR standards, namely R1, R2, and R3, they are thus entitled for Federal Government maintenance funding once registered under the Malaysia Road Registration Information System (MARRIS).
Under the road programme, attention is to be given to: :
- The construction of roads to support economic development in the sectors of agricultural growth, estates, manufacturing, tourism and the service industry especially in backward and remote areas throughout the country including PPD / RGC.
- The construction of roads to establish and complement a road networking system that connects development areas in a certain state and subsequently with the neighbouring states. This includes linking up non-connecting roads so that they become more functional and thus can be optimised by rural residents.
- The construction / upgrading of roads that have the capacity to facilitate the transportation of agricultural produce including from estates (developed under the new approach), for instance PJK roads that have become important routes may be upgraded to JALB.
- Roads which are aimed to provide easier mobility and become alternative roads to existing roads or river roads as well as connect villages / remote settlements with the nearest town.
- Roads which are to act as catalysts for socio-economic development in remote areas by enabling easier, faster and more economic production of local goods and providing economic advantages such as employment opportunities in small towns for rural residents.
- Roads that would contribute in the efforts towards national economic recovery specifically through new tracts of development as a result of comprehensive development planning in rural areas.
- The provision of basic infrastructural needs such as comprehensive, balanced and effective transportation and communication systems is crucial in improving the livelihood of the people and achieving the aims of nation-building.
- The prioritization of road selection under the JALB Programme is based on the criteria specified by the National Development Planning Committee (Jawatankuasa Perancangan Pembangunan Negara) as follows:
- density of residents within a kilometre of the road.
- percentage of small orchards as far as 2.5 km on either side of the road compared to estate areas.
- cost of construction per kilometre.