Gov’t Widens Tano Ponggol Canal to Ease Access to Samosir Island in Lake Toba
Date 12 Juni 2020
In a bid to provide opportunities for tourists to explore Samosir Island using large cruise boats, the Indonesian Government through Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing is currently completing the widening work on the Tano Ponggol Canal in Lake Toba, Samosir Regency.
Lake Toba is one of the priorities of the National Tourism Strategic Areas (KSPN) which is prepared to support productivity in the tourism sector during the new normal due to COVID-19 spread.
In 2020, the Ministry has allocated a budget of Rp1.3 trillion for infrastructure development in Lake Toba KSPN project, including water resources infrastructure (Rp119.8 billion), roads and bridges (Rp 00.3 billion), settlements (Rp102 billion), and housing (Rp348.4 billion), in as many as 68 work packages.
For the 2020 Fiscal Year, as many as 36 packages are currently in the construction stage, 24 packages are in the auction process, and the remaining 8 packages are carried out in a self-managed manner, including for land acquisition.
“In the new normal order, to live in peace with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government believes that the main economic sector that can rebound rapidly is the tourism sector. For that reason, there was no pause in infrastructure development activities in 5 KSPN,” Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono said.
The widening work is carried out by the Sumatra II River Basin Agency of Directorate General of Water Resources with canal widening and deepening as its main activities. The progress has reached 93.506%.
As long as 1.2 kilometers of the canal will be widened (from 25 meters to 80 meters) and deepened (from 3 meters to 8 meters). Of the total length of 1.2 kilometers, only 20 meters have not been widened.
Through the work, the Ministry has to move 571,562 m³ soil to get the canal base elevation at 897 masl. According to the contract, the work started in December 2017 with a budget of Rp320.55 billion.
In addition, on the left and right sides of the Tano Ponggol, steel sheet pile will be utilized to maintain the strength of the embankment.
The Ministry will also build pedestrian paths on the left and right sides of the Canal.
The Ministry developed Indonesian water tourism, including the Tano Ponggol area, using the concept of a waterfront city. The development of the area is an integrated work carried out by the Directorate General of Natural Resources on canal work, the Directorate General of Highways on bridges, and the Directorate General of Human Settlements on the arrangement of the area.
After the widening, it is necessary for the Ministry to make adjustments to the design of the Tano Ponggol Bridge so that cruise boats can pass under the bridge. Currently, the bridge is only 25 meters long and the freeboard is low. Tano Ponggol is the only land access to Samosir Island which is located in the middle of Lake Toba.
The bridge design will also adopt the Batak traditional local wisdom with an estimated ideal height of around 8-9 meters and a total length of 294 meters consisting of the main bridge (179 meters), approaching bridges, and approach slabs.
The bridge’s physical construction is planned to begin in 2020 with a budget allocation of Rp175.5 billion. At present, the bridge is still in the prequalification stage for auction preparation. The plan is for the new Tano Ponggol Bridge to have 2 lanes. The new bridge is expected to become the new icon of Lake Toba. (BKP Kementerian PUPR/EN)
Translated by: Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by: Mia M. Bonaedy