KUALA LUMPUR – Rural residents should rejoice as the government continues efforts to improve infrastructure in their areas, including 301 kilometres (km) of rural roads built or upgraded nationwide.
According to the Economic Report 2016/17 issued by the Finance Ministry, RM564.2 million was expended for this purpose as at end-August 2016.
For the upgrading of roads and drainage system in Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settlements, RM200 million was allocated for this purpose, with RM151.6 million committed by Felda to build 866.1km of roads in the settlements.
Another RM418.7 million was expended for the Rural Electrification Project as of end-August, which benefited more than 17,000 residents.
Over the same period, RM184.8 million was spent for the Rural Water Supply Project, benefitting more than 11,000 rural dwellers.
The report also touched on the progress of airport projects, including a feasibility study for the extension of the Batu Berendam airport in Melaka that is scheduled for completion by November.
As far as the Pan Borneo Highway is concerned, 270km of road was completed in the Sarawak portion of the highway while 117km was completed in Sabah as of end-August.
The report notes that the transport subsector is the largest recipient, constituting RM8.4 billion, mainly to finance the construction, maintenance and upgrading of roads and bridges, airports and ports as well as railways.
Road projects are focused in rural areas, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak to stimulate economic activities through improving connectivity to urban commercial centres.
Besides the Pan Borneo Highway, other major projects include the West Coast Expressway, Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway and Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway. – BERNAMA