MRT construction to begin with underground work
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The Jakarta administration says that the construction of the city’s first Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) system will begin with work on underground structures, as there is less preparation needed than with work above ground.
Manpala Gupta Sitorus, spokesman of the city-owned would-be operator PT MRT Jakarta, said on Wednesday that the contract signing for the underground construction was scheduled for September.
“Preparation for the underground work does not involve procuring land, which enables us to start working on it a lot faster,” Manpala said.
The first phase of the MRT project — which comprises a central station, depot and a line running from Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta — is expected to begin before the end of the year and is to be completed by 2016.
The construction work is divided into six packages offered in the tender auction. The packages comprise one for the depot and central station, two for elevated stations and three for underground tunnels and stations.
In the plan, there will be six underground stations and seven above-ground stations along the route. The cost of the MRT will be covered mostly by a ¥120 billion (US$1.4 billion) soft loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The total cost of the project is estimated at ¥144 billion.
MRT construction preparation work includes widening the road on Jl. Fatmawati in South Jakarta — through which the MRT would pass — the relocation of utility networks (phone lines, electricity cables, water pipes, sewers and fiber-optic lines) that would be affected by the construction, the construction of the PT MRT Jakarta office building, as well as the relocation of the Lebak Bulus Bus Terminal and Lebak Bulus Stadium.
The bus terminal and stadium will be torn down and relocated starting September to make way for a multi-story depot that will be integrated with an MRT station, Transjakarta bus shelter and an inner-city bus terminal.
Head of Lebak Bulus bus terminal Suarta Sebayang, however, said that he had not informed bus drivers about the relocation plan because they were still focusing on the preparation for the annual exodus ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays.
“We haven’t started any preparation for the relocation. It is up to the transportation agency and PT Mass Rapid Transit Jakarta to decide when,” he said at his office at the terminal on Wednesday.
The drivers at the terminal also said that they had not heard any official statements from the city.
Lubis, a Metromini B85 bus driver, said that he found out about the September’s relocation plan from the newspapers.
“I first heard about the relocation plan in 2010. But there has been no follow up from the officials ever since,” he said.
Ridwan, a manager of Primajasa buses, which serves the outer city routes, voiced similar concerns over the lack of information, but said he did not mind being relocated as long as the city administration accommodated all buses there by providing a new bus terminal. (han)