Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited Batam in Riau Islands on Thursday (23/03) to inspect progress in the construction of the Sei Gong Dam.
The dam, located in Galang subdistrict, is currently being built at a cost of around Rp 238 billion ($17.9 billion), funded from the state budget.
Jokowi said the project, which is being constructed on 355 hectares of land, will have a capacity of 11.8 million cubic meters of water.
It is part of a program, initiated by the president, to build 49 dams across Indonesia.
"The Sei Gong reservoir consists of 355 hectares and will be able to hold around 11 million cubic meters of water, which would be used [to supply] fresh water for some areas [Dalang and Lempang] or even the main city, Batam, that are still lacking fresh water. We had hoped for the construction to be completed by the end of 2018; but we have discussed it again and it could be finished earlier, which would be by around mid-2018," Jokowi said.
Jokowi was also expected to distribute social aid, including the Indonesia Smart Card (KIP), Indonesia Health Card (KIS) and Family Hope Program (PKH), to community members in Galang.
The president introduced the cashless social aid programs during his election campaign in 2014.
The government uses Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data to identify those entitled to receive the aid.
Health Minister Nila Moeloek, Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy and Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki accompanied the president on his visit.
Following the inspection, Jokowi left for Central Tapanuli in North Sumatra on another work visit.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about President Joko Widodo's work visit to the Riau Islands.