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President Jokowi will publicly explain high speed train project

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has promised to publicly explain in detail the Jakarta-Bandung high speed train (HST) project.

“I will explain in detail its process from the beginning and till the end (and tell the people) how many meetings we had, how much it will cost and all other aspects,” President Jokowi said after attending the Friday prayer at the City Hall Fatahillah Mosque here on Friday.

The President said he was making preparations to explain the HST project. “We are still preparing material. We will explain it publicly. There is no cover-up,” Jokowi, who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, said.

Earlier, Special Presidential Staff on Communications Johan Budi SP had said President Jokwi will be open to inputs from various sides regarding the Jakarta-Bandung fast train project for which groundbreaking ceremony was held some time ago.

“After the groundbreaking ceremony for the implementation of the high-speed train project, there are inputs, which we have read about in public, including some from members of the Parliament and also from community groups. Of course, the President listens to them,” Johan Budi S.P., presidential special staff in charge of communication, stated here on Wednesday.

He, however, hoped that relevant ministries such as the state enterprises ministry, transportation ministry, and environmental affairs and forestry ministry would also respond to comments on the project.

Despite President Jokowis tight schedule involving domestic and overseas visits, he has constantly followed the latest developments, including those related to the project.

The President decided to proceed with the implementation of the project only after that.

“Even as the decision was being taken, concerns were later raised by the public, for instance, on the licensing aspect.”

Inputs were received from related ministers.

The President also evaluates the project. “There will likely be a meeting to discuss this issue,” Budi added.

The project was decided after a long process, and the decision was not taken in just one instant, he pointed out.

“What I have heard is that the project has been under discussion for a year, including an environmental impact assessment (Amdal) that went on for the past six months,” he noted

After the projects groundbreaking ceremony, different opinions surfaced, which have been taken as inputs by the President.

“Those are inputs for the President. Yes, of course, the President will again ask the relevant minister about it,” Budi stated.

President Jokowi officiated at the groundbreaking of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project in Cikalong Wetan, Bandung District, West Java Province, on January 21.

The project is estimated to cost US$5.5 billion, with 75 percent of the financing coming from the China Development Bank (CDB) and the rest from Indonesias state enterprises.

The construction work on the PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC-Indonesia-China High-Speed Railway) project is to begin in early 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Source: www.antaranews.com, Friday 29 January 2016