The under-construction athletes village in Palembang, South Sumatra, which will also host Asian Games events in 2018. (Antara Photo/Feny Selly)

Jakarta Says Asian Games Venues Ready by February 2018


JANUARY 13, 2016

Jakarta. Days after President Joko Widodo told stakeholders to finalize facilities for the 2018 Asian Games by the end of the year, Jakarta's deputy governor said at least two venues in the capital won't be ready until six months before the prestigious event kicks off.

Djarot Saiful Hidayat, the city's No. 2, said on Wednesday that the Velodrome in Rawamangun and the Equestrian Stadium in Pulomas, both in East Jakarta, will be ready by February 2018.

The 2018 Asian Games are slated to be held from Aug. 18 till Sept. 2. Events will also be held in South Sumatra, Banten and West Java.

The two venues in Jakarta already exist but have to be renovated to meet current international standards.

The city is currently on the verge of signing a decree that will put the city-owned property and construction firm Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro) in charge of the renovation works, Djarot said.

Jakpro, however, is currently facing criticism from Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who has said he may replace the entire senior management at the company if several key infrastructure project don't start soon.

Joko on Monday told cabinet ministers and other senior officials that he wanted work on the Asian Games venues sped up so that everything would be ready this year.

"[Plans for] construction at the Velodrome and Equestrian [Stadium] are being coordinated by Jakpro," Djarot said on Wednesday.

The deputy governor added that work on the Velodrome will be much more complex than work on the equestrian venue, because of the strict requirements of the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body for sports cycling, the Indonesian Sports Cycling Federation (ISSI) and the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI).

"The equestrian [venue] is easier," Djarot said. "That will be done by a subsidiary of Jakpro. So construction can be finished faster, it will be done by 2017. We only need to add stables."

"I am sure that by February 2018 everything will be ready," the deputy governor said.