Infrastructure Budget in Banyumas up 100 percent

March 2, 2015, Media Indonesia, 2 March, 2015, Page 24, Section: Nusantara

Aside from provincial and national roads, the budget for road works in villages is also increased.

INFRASTRUCTURE improvement funds in Banyumas, Central Java, have been increased by up to 100 percent. If in the previous year the budget allocation was only Rp 60 billion, it has now been increased to Rp 120 billion, because until now there are still some 58 percent of roads in damaged condition in Banyumas.

Banyumas Regent, Achmad Husein, said that some 58 percent of the roads in Banyumas are still in damaged condition. “The damaged roads will continue to be repaired. Currently, the budget for infrastructure reaches Rp 120 billion. The allocation increases 100 percent from the previous year’s Rp 60 billion,” said Husein, yesterday.

Although the budget has been increased, not all of the road repair works can be done. “The road improvement works will be done in stages according to priorities.” According to the regent, based on the monitoring he has made, there are still potholes in many locations of national roads. “In April this year, the entire infrastructure and facilities have been proposed to be repaired. It is expected that by August and September, the national roads in Banyumas and Banjarnegara can already be fixed,” he said.

In addition to the provincial and national roads, Banyumas Regency Government is also allocating budget to repair roads in villages from 2013 to 2014, at about Rp 180 billion last year. This year, the budget allocation amounts to Rp 110 billion. Then, there is an additional amount through Revised Local Government Budget (APBD-P) of Rp 70 billion.

Meanwhile, Association of Indonesian Retailers has expressed hope that the government of Joko Widodo would focus on realising a number of inter-regional connectivity projects in Sumatera in order to suppress the high cost of logistics and transport in the country.

“There is perception that regions outside Java have been discriminated against compared to Java. Why to think like that? This is because it has proved difficult to realise just one toll road segment, whereas in Java there are many toll roads being built,” said Chairman of the Western Region (Medan-Lampung) of Indonesian Retailers Association (Aprindo), Hasanuri Jr., in Palembang, yesterday.

He said that logistics costs in Indonesia are already too high, resulting in lower competitiveness compared to other countries.

The government of Joko Widodo is expected to act tangibly with regard to the limitations of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and also ports, in Sumatera.

“Connectivity is something very urgent today, when talking about economic growth. While the infrastructure is not yet addressed, it can be said that the economic growth of a region will be so-so only. For example, South Sumatera has yet to realise the [construction of] Tanjung Api-Api Port to date,” he said.

He added that, in addition to waiting for the realisation of the port, the construction of toll road that connects Aceh all the way to Lampung should be something that becomes the focus of the government today.

Various raw materials that become the backbone of industries in Java are generally produced in Sumatera and Kalimantan. “If the land line can be smooth, it means that employers will have an alternative to the sea,” he said.

Ministry of Public Works has proposed for the construction of two Trans-Sumatera toll road segments to commence (groundbreaking) in 2015, after completion of land acquisition by the relevant provincial governments.

The two Trans-Sumatra toll road segments are the Palembang – Indralaya, which spans for 22km and requires an investment of Rp 1 trillion, and the 135km-long Pekanbaru – Kandis – Dumai segment with an investment of Rp14.7 trillion.

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