President Jokowi: Govt Focused on Infrastructure Development
Date 2 Maret 2016
After inspecting the construction of the toll road connecting Medan and Kualanamu Tebing Tinggi, in Deli Serdang, President Joko Jokowi Widodo and his entourage continued his working visit to Binjai Station, Binjai City, on Wednesday (2/3) afternoon by car.
President Jokowi inspected the construction of the 80 kilometers Trans Sumatra railway re-activation connecting Medan and Aceh, located between Binjai and Besitang Stations.
The President also led the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of 8-km-railway overpass between Medan and Bandar Khalipah Stations in Medan.
On the occasion, the President in his remarks said that the Government will focus on and prioritize infrastructure development in order to reduce logistic and transportation costs so that price of goods will be cheaper and Indonesian products could compete with other countries.
Transportation and logistic costs in Indonesia are 22.5 times higher than the costs in neighboring countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and others. It means we can not expect our products, commodities, and goods to compete with other countries if the infrastructures have not improved, the President said.
Therefore, the Government will accelerate infrastructure development in Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua in order to integrate all modes of transportation, including toll roads, railways, and seaports.
President Jokowi also instructed big cities in Indonesia to develop their mass transportation immediately to address traffic problems.
We must have mass transportation, both in form of underground public transport or on roads. It cannot be compromised. We must provide mass transportation unless we want our cities stuck in traffic, the President firmly said.
On the same occasion, Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan reported to the President that Trans Sumatra railways will be constructed by re-activating existing tracks that previously have not been used due to budget constraints.
The re-activation of Trans Sumatra railways connecting Binjai and Besitang Stations is part of the construction of 1,574.5 km Trans Sumatra railways connecting Aceh-Medan-Riau, which was allocated with the budget worth Rp 22,083 trillion.
Trans Sumatra railways connecting Aceh-Medan-Riau is projected to operate in 2021.
Accompanying the President at the event were Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Acting Governor of North Sumatra Tengku Erry Nuradi, and related officials. (DNS/ SLN)RAS/EP/YM/Naster)