(Kompas.com/Siginarus Marutho Bere)
The Timur Tengah Utara (TTU) regency in East Nusa Tenggara still lacks basic infrastructure, while its neighbor across the border, the Oecussi district in East Timor, has much better infrastructure, Regent Raymundus Sau Fernandes said.
“Infrastructure development in the TTU regency is in stark contrast with that in the Oecussi district. As Indonesia’s veranda, the regency should be prioritized in infrastructure development and socio-economic advancement,” he said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.
He told the National Resilience Council (Wantannas) secretary general, Brig. Gen. Dody Usodo Hargo, who was visiting the regency, that in addition to roads, there were also problems in the education, housing, clean water and electricity sectors.
“Our border region is seriously far behind in terms of infrastructure and services such as electricity and drinking water. Indonesia has been independent for 67 years, but people on the border have yet to receive electricity,” Raymundus said.
“If we observe our neighbors across the border at night, we see that that they already have electricity, while we are blanketed in darkness.”
He added that there were still residents using oil lamps for lighting despite Indonesia being independent for 67 years, while in comparison East Timor had only been independent for a dozen years.
Commenting on Raymundus’ plea, Dody said he would convey the hardships faced by the border region to the central government.
“I will submit my findings to the President and set up a special team involving all related ministries to follow up what the regent had conveyed,” he said.
Dody said he paid serious attention to the livelihood of people living in the border area with poor infrastructure and hoped to forge sound access to facilities that might affect their socio-economic stature.
Wantannas is a council headed by and directly answerable to the President in setting up national resilience policies and strategies, including survivability and development risks. (png/nvn)