Indonesia to review Jakarta-Bandung railway project
The Jakarta Post
With the Jakarta-Bandung railway project now stagnant, Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Pinsar Pandjaitan has said the government needs to review the project, including whether the two cities need to be connected with a high-speed railway.
However, Luhut stressed on Tuesday that the stagnation had not been caused by financing problems, claiming that China, as the major investor in the project, was still committed to the agreement, which had already been signed by the governments of both countries.
“So it is not a financing problem. The problem is with ourselves. We need to know, for example, whether a high speed rail link between Bandung and Jakarta, which are only 140 kilometers apart, is a necessary project,” said Luhut in his office in Jakarta on Tuesday as reported by tempo.co.
Therefore, the government would evaluate the project as requested by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said Luhut, adding that the evaluation would be completed within one month.
“The President has ordered me, State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno and Investment Coordination Agency head Thomas Lembong to evaluate the Jakarta-Bandung high speed project. Next week, we will start coordinating,” he added.
Luhut said there was no change to the financing scheme as the funding would still come from China as previously agreed. “We have to respect the agreement,” the minister added.
President Jokowi led the ground-breaking ceremony of the project in January 2016. The government has given the Indonesian-Chinese joint venture, Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC), a fixed concession period of 50 years starting on May 31, 2019, the deadline for the project's completion. (bbn)
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