Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
Ottawa
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Ambassade de la RÉpublique d'Indonésie

Indonesian government to step up Trans-Sumatra toll road construction

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The government plans to speed up the construction of the Trans-Sumatra toll road, which is expected to boost integration and connectivity.

Divided into 23 sections, the 2,700-kilometer (km) toll road will extend from Indonesias westernmost province of Aceh to the Lampung province on the island of Sumatra.

Bandarlampung Mayor Herman HN hopes that the construction of the 150-km long Bakauheni-Terbanggi Besar section of the Trans-Sumatra toll road can be accelerated to reduce the number of trucks and container carriers passing through Bandarlampung.

“We hope that the construction of the Bakauheni-Terbanggi Besar section will be completed soon, so that trucks and container carriers no longer have to pass through the citys streets,” Herman stated in Bandarlampung on Thursday.

He noted that trucks carrying heavy goods, which passed through the city streets, had damaged the roads, and that the government had been forced to spend a considerable amount of funds for carrying out road repair work.

He further added that if the Bakauheni-Terbanggi Besar toll roads construction was sped up, it would be better, as the government could save funds that would otherwise be diverted for road repair work.

“The presence of the Bakauheni-Terbanggi Besar toll road section is economically very beneficial because it will boost regional economic growth,” Herman remarked.

In the meantime, the Lampung provincial administration continues to evaluate the progress of land acquisition for the construction of the 150 km-long Bakauheni-Terbanggi Besar toll road segment.

Provincial Administration Spokesman Adeham revealed on Thursday that the highway construction team had completed the installation of central pegs at Bakauheni and Tanjung Binang in South Lampung.

“The team has explained to all village heads and community figures in South Lampung district the details of construction of the Bakauheni-Terbanggi Besar toll road,” Adeham stated.

In addition, the Medan-Binjai section in the Trans-Sumatra toll road, stipulated under a Presidential Regulation as a Strategic Area Development, is the first segment that will be completed.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono had said earlier this month that the 16 km-Medan-Binjai section was expected to become operational in 2016.

Speaking to journalists after attending a limited cabinet meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo here, he stated that the Medan-Binjai portion of the toll road project in North Sumatra province was apparently underway at the moment and would only become operational next year.

Hadimuljono, who attended the meeting with other cabinet members and related government officials, spoke about the progress made during the Trans-Sumatra toll road project, including the Bakauheni-Tanjung Api-Api section.

“Of course, we cannot build the entire toll road at the same time,” he remarked.

To support this construction project, a Presidential Decree on the Acceleration of Trans-Sumatra Toll Road Construction, which involves PT Hutama Karya, will be revised, the minister confirmed.

The revision was required to enable other state-owned enterprises to participate in the project. “The construction of the toll road cannot be handled by a single party, but requires other state companies to participate,” he noted.

According to Hadimuljono, the sections of the Trans-Sumatra toll road that are currently under construction include the Medan-Binjai section, the Palembang-Indralaya section, the Bakauheni-Tanjung Api-Api section and the Pekanbaru-Dumai section.

The Pekanbaru-Dumai section is expected to begin functioning before 2018, he added.

Even President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had issued an order to commence the construction work of Trans-Sumatra toll road by April at the latest in a bid to boost connectivity among the Sumatran provinces.

The President noted that the government had invited the private sector to participate in the construction of the toll road.

During his visit to Sumatra last November to review preparations for the Trans-Sumatra toll road, President Jokowi said the government would start the toll road’s construction and a railway development project in 2015.

Jokowi, as the President is popularly known, hoped that the development project would help improve connectivity and integration between the regions in the future.

“We wish to see this development during the next 50 to 100 years,” he affirmed.

State Enterprises Minister Rini M. Soemarno has also urged all state-owned construction companies involved in the Trans-Sumatra toll road development project to strengthen coordination, so that it can be implemented in line with the acceleration program for infrastructure development that has been proposed by the government.

In February 2012, the government, through the State Enterprises Ministry, had proposed to develop a 2.7 thousand km-long Trans-Sumatra toll road connecting the provinces of Aceh and Lampung, with an investment of almost Rp300 trillion.

In economic terms, the project cannot be single-handedly developed by the central government, and so, an agreement was reached upon that the project would be executed by a joint company to be set up by the state-owned road construction company Jasa Marga in collaboration with the regional governments in Sumatra.

The project will also be divided into four main corridors and three priority corridors.

The four main corridors are Lampung-Palembang, which is 358 km long, the Palembang-Pekanbaru corridor (610 kilometers), the Pekanbaru-Medan corridor (548 kilometers), and the Medan-Banda Aceh corridor (460 kilometers).

The three priority corridors are Palembang and Bengkulu (303 kilometers), Pekanbaru-Padang (242 kilometers), and Medan-Sibolga (175 kilometers).

Source: www.antaranews.com, Saturday 28 March 2015