[JAKARTA] Ministry of Transportation (Kemhub) through Directorate General of Railways, has prepared a budget of Rp 234 trillion for railway infrastructure development from 2015 to 2019, the budget is allocated to build railway infrastructures on the island of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, all the way to Papua.
“In line with the National Railways Master Plan, this was originally budgeted until 2030, but President Joko Widodo wants the infrastructure development outside Java to be completed in 2019 and we are ready to do it,” said Director General of Railways of Kemhub, Hermanto Dwiatmoko, in a discussion with reporters in Jakarta, Monday (9 march).
He stated that the majority of the construction will be done outside of java, namely in four other large islands, where Kemhub has made a target to build 3,258km of railway lines until 2019. For Sumatra, the government will allocate Rp 41.12 trillion to reactive dormant railway lines along 111km, build some 1,399km of new railway lines, and construct double track railway lines along 80km.
Construction of railway lines in Sumatra is done by connecting the existing railway networks in North Sumatra, West Sumatra, and South Sumatra. “We will continue building a railway line in Aceh, especially Lhokseumawe – Bireuen. In the central part, there is a line from Riau up to Lampung donw under,” said hermanto.
The government is also financing a new railway line project along 2,428km in Kalimantan. The path be built will start from the border of West Kalimantan up to North Kalimantan. The total funds reach Rp 22.9 trillion. Hermanto said that there are indeed a number of constraints, such as soil conditions in the regions. “In Kalimantan, there are a lot of peat lands, so there will be many flyovers. In addition, over there no rocks can be found, so, possibly, we will bring them from Sulawesi,” he said.
For Trans Sulawesi, the government will build 1,772km of railway lines with financing needs of Rp 31.25 trillion.
Construction of the railway lines will be done by developing new railway networks in South Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Gorontalo, and North Sulawesi. The routes to be built include Manado – Bitung – Gorontalo – Palu – Mamuju – Pare-Pare – Makassar – Bulukumba.
Another railway line development plan concerns Papua. In the initial phase, the government will prioritise the construction of a railway line from Manokwari to Sorong, covering a distance of 390km. The total funding amounts to Rp 10.33 trillion. According to him, the width of the railway line to be built in West Papua is 1,435mm. The line is targeted to accommodate passing trains at a speed of up to 200km per hour.
Herman added that the planned development of the railway line in West Papua will go through a feasibility study phase first. This is because the 2015 Revised State Budget (APBN-P) has only allocated funds for the feasibility study.
Meanwhile, the stage of design and environmental impact assessment (AMDAL) are expected to be conducted in 2016. Subsequently in 2017, the government will carry out land acquisition, so that by 2018, the West Papua railway project will already enter the construction phase. [Y-9]