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Jakarta Post

Jokowi leads MRT ground-breaking ceremony

  • Sita W. Dewi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 10, 2013   /  12:43 pm
Jokowi leads MRT ground-breaking ceremony MRT project: A security guard walks at the site of a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a railway, in Jakarta on Thursday. Construction is underway in the Indonesian capital for a long-awaited urban railway aimed at staving off crippling traffic gridlock. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana) (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

MRT project: A security guard walks at the site of a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a railway, in Jakarta on Thursday. Construction is underway in the Indonesian capital for a long-awaited urban railway aimed at staving off crippling traffic gridlock. (AP/Tatan Syuflana)

Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday led a ground-breaking ceremony for the first mass rapid transit (MRT) track, which will connect Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta.

"After 24 years of daydreaming of having an MRT, finally Jakarta residents' dream will come true. In the name of God, the construction of the first MRT track has begun," Jokowi said.

He pointed out that the construction would cause inevitable traffic gridlocks, "that's why I suggest that the [project operator] PT MRT Jakarta intensively disseminate information regarding the project," Jokowi said.

PT MRT Jakarta president director Dono Boestami said that the ground-breaking ceremony marked the beginning of the first phase of the construction.

"We aim to build retaining wall to prevent the ground or road above from shifting," he said.

The MRT construction project is divided into eight packages, comprising three underground civil works, three elevated civil works, the MRT system and the MRT rolling stock.

Consortiums Shimizu-Obayashi-Wijaya Karya-Jaya Konstruksi and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company-Hutama Karya have been appointed to carry out the three underground work packages.

The construction of the first phase of the MRT track will be funded by a ¥125 billion (US$1.29 billion) soft loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The central government agreed to repay 49 percent of the loan, while the city administration will pay the rest over a loan period of 40 years, with a grace period of 10 years at an interest rate of below 1 percent.

The track will have six underground stations, seven elevated stations and the capacity for up to 173,000 passengers per day. The first phase of work requires Rp 3.6 trillion in funding.

The construction of the first MRT track is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and set to operate in the first quarter of the following year.