Jokowi Demands Evaluation of Jakarta-Bandung Fast Train Project After Setbacks
Jakarta. The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan called for a high-level meeting next week after it became clear that development on the landmark Jakarta-Bandung fast train project had missed an important deadline.
The $6 billion project, initially planned to begin operations in 2019, is one of several high profile projects coveted by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to showcase Indonesia's ambitions to boost infrastructure development.
However, the project has faced problems from its inception, including finance and land clearance delays, as well as changing blueprints during development.
Kereta Express Indonesia China, the Sino-Indonesian joint venture managing the project, has yet to begin major construction as a $4.5 billion loan from the China Development Bank remains undisbursed.
Luhut said Jokowi has personally ordered him, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Investment Coordinating Board head Thomas Lembong, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and executives at state-controlled infrastructure financing firm Sarana Multi Infrastruktur to re-evaluate the Jakarta-Bandung railway project.
"We have one month until we report to the president. It's because the project has not started yet," Luhut said on Tuesday (09/01).
Though the government is confident about China's commitment to finance the project, it still needs to re-evaluate the project's feasibility, Luhut said.
Officials are considering extending the railway track to Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, West Java, to meet demand from passengers from Bandung, the capital of West Java.
Under the existing plan, the current track passes Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta, Karawang, Walini and Tegalluar in West Java on 142 kilometers of railways.
Luhut also said the central government plans to become directly involved in land acquisition deals for the extended track, currently being managed by the West Java administration.
The proposed changes could mean years in further delays.
"A delay is okay. Amid uncertainties we need to recalculate or end up with a failed project," Luhut said.Tags: