Jakarta

MRT project winner to be
announced soon

Going under: Residents from South Jakarta who will directly be affected by the construction of the mass rapid transit (MRT) system stage a protest on Monday in front of Cipete Market in Jl. Fatmawati. They said they supported the development of a subway but not an MRT overpass in the area, which they said would affect their businesses and property values. JP/P.J. Leo
Going under: Residents from South Jakarta who will directly be affected by the construction of the mass rapid transit (MRT) system stage a protest on Monday in front of Cipete Market in Jl. Fatmawati. They said they supported the development of a subway but not an MRT overpass in the area, which they said would affect their businesses and property values. JP/P.J. Leo

The tender winner for the much-awaited mass rapid transit megaproject will be announced soon, an executive has said.

PT Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Jakarta president director Dono Boestami told a press conference on Monday that the company had met with the relevant authorities to complete the required administrative steps.

“We met with the BPKD [Regional Finance Management Body], Bank Indonesia, the Home Ministry, Bappenas [National Development Planning Agency] and the Transportation Ministry in a meeting hosted by the loan-management director general on Wednesday and we have agreed to expedite the completion of documents regarding loan repayment adjustments,” Dono said at the Pullman Hotel in Central Jakarta.

“We will soon hold a general shareholders meeting and present our plan for approval. After that we will be able to announce the tender winner,” he added, calling the tender-winner announcement “the MRT project soft launch”.

However, Dono, who was appointed as PT MRT president director in March, declined to elaborate on the details or the timeline. “I promise we will announce it soon.”

The construction of the first MRT track, set to connect Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta and the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, will be partially funded with a ¥125 billion (US$1.27 million) soft loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The central government has agreed to repay 49 percent of the loan — up from 42 percent — while the administration will pay the rest with a loan period of 40 years, a grace period of 10 years and an interest rate of below 1 percent per year.

Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said the city administration had sent a letter regarding the revised financing to the Home Ministry. “The Home Ministry is preparing the draft [on the revised agreement], hopefully it will be ready by the day after tomorrow,” he said.

Governor Joko Widodo had previously said that he wanted a renegotiation of several clauses with JICA, including on the loan ceiling.

The governor also demanded JICA shorten the contract assessment from three months to two weeks and requested the involvement of a neutral party as the project advisor and supervisor.

Earlier this month Jokowi and several city officials met Singaporean authorities to talk about the MRT. Jokowi has asked representatives from Singapore MRT to be advisors to the project.

Also on Monday, hundreds of residents staged a rally in Fatmawati, South Jakarta, protesting against the planned construction of an elevated MRT rail track in the area. The residents said that the construction would affect businesses in the area and would generate a negative environmental impact.

Dono declined to comment on the matter, saying that the city administration was working on land acquisition in Fatmawati, South Jakarta.

“The South Jakarta administration is working on the land acquisition. The governor has sent a letter to the South Jakarta mayor and the mayor will soon communicate with PT MRT, however, we will not be directly involved [in the land acquisition],” he said.

He discussed the construction’s impact on Jakarta residents’ activities. “The construction will cause traffic jams in numerous spots. We hope that Jakartans will understand that this is for the good of many people,” Dono said.

The 15.7-kilometer first phase of the MRT will have six underground stations, seven elevated stations and is planned to carry around 173,000 passengers per day. The MRT is being touted as one of the solutions to the capital’s frustrating gridlock.

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