Land acquisition to start soon
Farida Susanty and Arya Dipa
The Jakarta Post
At least 600 hectares of privately owned and industrial land will be cleared to pave the way for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, excluding plots of land belonging to some state-owned enterprises (SOE).
Railway developer PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) president director Hanggoro Budi Wiryawan said only 20 percent of the total land for the project belonged to SOEs.
He said most of the land acquisition would happen between Karawang and Purwakarta in West Java, as there were a lot of private and industrial areas on that stretch of the route of the high-speed railway.
The company will soon inform the public about the land clearance for the ambitious railway project, which will span more than 142 kilometers, serving four stations from Halim in East Jakarta via Karawang and Walini to Tegalluar in West Java.
'Well, from Halim to Karawang, we can use 40 km along the toll road, but from Karawang to Jatiluhur we have to procure privately-owned land. After that, we have to also procure some more land in Jatiluhur,' he told the press after the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday.
He said the rest of the railway route through Padalarang, Cimahi and Tegalluar would again pass through 30 km of land along the toll road belong to state-owned toll road operator Jasa Marga, which is one of the SOEs in the KCIC joint venture.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar as well as Chinese State Councillor Wang Yong and China Railway Corp. president Sheng Guangzu, among others.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan was not present at the event as he was reportedly finalizing permits for the project.
The government allegedly bypassed existing regulations as it rushed to complete the permit procedures ahead of the groundbreaking, with the railway route permits issued last week and the Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal) documents only approved on Wednesday.
Officials present at the event maintained that the Amdal procedure complied with the law. The Environment and Forestry Ministry has given KCIC a one-month deadline to strengthen the documents and gather public opinion.
'I got the report yesterday that it [the Amdal] is done,' Jokowi said briefly during the ceremony.
Previously, Widodo Sambodo, a member of the Environment and Forestry Ministry's Amdal assessment team, criticized the 'irregular' Amdal approval process, arguing that some necessary steps had been skipped, including data gathering, which was cut to one week from six months, and the impact of the construction on water catchment in the Saguling and Citarum areas.
He argued that an improper Amdal assessment could lead to accidents in the future.
So far, only two of the nine cities on the railway route made adjustments to their spatial planning (RTRW) documents, according to the ministry official.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) chairman Danang Parikesit said KCIC should inform the public about the project's impact on water and soil along the route.
He also suggested that the government improve existing train infrastructure rather than approve such big projects, which bore the risk of failure in case the passenger targets could not be met.
Hanggoro of KCIC estimated that the total area needed for stations and the railway tracks would reach up to 650 hectares, only 20 percent of which belongs to the SOEs.
He declined to reveal the estimated cost to procure the land but reiterated that it was still within the estimated overall project cost of US$5.5 billion.
A loan from China Development Bank that would cover three quarters of the investment would be disbursed gradually, with 20 percent of the loan to be disbursed this year, according to Hanggoro.
He also said that the procurement would be the next phase, as the firm had to process the procurement of 57 hectares managed by state-owned forestry firm Perhutani in Karawang and 45 hectares managed by the Indonesian Air Force in Halim.
The firm is still in the process of procuring the Perhutani-managed land, which would require the firm to provide replacement land of twice the size, according to Environment and Forestry Ministry regulations.
'We won't enter the forestry area before the replacement land is ready,' Hanggoro said.
Environment and Forestry Ministry planology director general San Afri Awang said the ministry would give the company a year to provide the replacement, with the 114 hectares of land predicted to be located near Karawang and Purwakarta.
Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway
Route length: 142.3 kilometers
Max speed: 350 km/hour
Capacity: 583 passengers
Estimated ticket price: From Rp. 225.000
Project dates (approx.): 2016-2018. Set to commence early 2019
Stations: Four (Halim, Karawang, Walini, Tegalluar) *
Depot: One, in Tegalluar (incl. train workshop & rest area)
Esimated cost: US$5.5 billion **
Labor: 39,000 man hours
Developers: PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) ***
* Each station will link with transit-oriented developments (TOD)
** Three quarters of financing will come from the China Development Bank (CDB)
*** KCIC is a joint venture between Indonesian state firms PT Wijaya Karya, PT KAI, PT Jasa Marga and PT Perkebunan Nusantara VIII and China Railway International Co. Ltd.
Source: Various sources compiled by The Jakarta Post
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