Jakarta to cancel monorail construction
Dewanti A. Wardhani
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration has decided to cancel its contract with monorail project operator PT Jakarta Monorail (JM) to develop the monorail routes proposed by the firm.
The problematic monorail project began in 2004 under then governor Sutiyoso.
The construction resumed in October 2013, with JM as contractor. However, its construction has not progressed following disagreements between the city and the company. Moreover, the city administration is doubtful of the company's ability to fund the project.
Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama said that the city was currently drafting a letter to JM to end cooperation.
'We have decided that the project cannot go on with PT Jakarta Monorail. We will send a letter to the company to cancel cooperation and halt all activities,' Ahok told reporters after a meeting with apparatus working units at City Hall in Central Jakarta on Monday.
Ahok went on that the route JM proposed to build was not feasible. JM had planned to construct the first route, the green line, extending 14.3 kilometers from the city police headquarters (Komdak) to Satria Mandala Museum, both in South Jakarta, including 16 stations.
The stations and depot were to be built in Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta and Setiabudi in South Jakarta, among other places. Ahok said that the station in Tanah Abang would increase traffic congestion in the area as it would be built on existing roads. Meanwhile, he said, the planned station in Setiabudi would be built on a reservoir. 'It is written in the laws that existing reservoirs cannot be touched,' he said.
JM also proposed to build a blue line, a 13.7-km route extending from Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta to Grogol in West Jakarta, with 14 stations.
Ahok added that the city would consider continuing monorail construction through a new tender.
'If JM still wants to develop the monorail system in Jakarta, they must compete with other companies through a tender. They must also propose different routes. The current routes are not feasible,' he said.
Separately, regional secretary Saefullah said that the city was ready for any repercussions from JM.
'We expect that there will be legal problems when we cancel the contract, but it is better that way rather than leaving the project in limbo,' Saefullah said.
Meanwhile, JM director Sukmawati said that the firm had not received an official letter or confirmation from the city administration and therefore declined to comment on the matter.
'We are still waiting for the letter so we can't comment yet. Pak Ahok has already threatened to cancel the city's contract with JM once, last October,' Sukmawati said via text message on Monday.
She also revealed that the firm had been in intensive discussions with the city administration and the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) on technical issues in the construction, but that Ahok had yet to attend.
'Its strange that the city would cancel the contract over station or depot location because there are many alternatives and solutions. Our main obstacle is that we do not have the support of the governor or the bureaucracy [...] the fate of the Jakarta monorail construction is in the hands of the governor now,' she said.
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