The Jakarta Post
Mass rapid transit (MRT) project operator PT MRT Jakarta, the city administration, the central government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are scheduled to sit down together to discuss extra funding for the project.
MRT Jakarta president director Dono Boestami said the project budget was expected to exceed the current ceiling for a number of reasons, including those related to technical and bureaucratic matters.
'In a design-and-build project, such things can't be avoided. We have to meet several regulatory terms and conditions and there are additional matters as well,' Dono said on the sidelines of an MRT seminar in Jakarta recently.
Dono declined to give an estimate, saying that all the stakeholders involved in the project would discuss the matter.
'We continue to make calculations because this project is far from completion. For example, there are construction packages for which contracts have been signed but haven't commenced yet.
'We, including the central government, the city administration and JICA, will sit together and discuss it in the near future. Only then we can figure out [the extra funding needed],' he said.
'We talked about this issue during our last meeting with the governor. Basically, MRT Jakarta was not concerned about where the extra money came from. It could be from an additional loan, the central government or the city administration,' he said.
Previously, Financial and Asset Management Board (BPKAD) head Heru Budi Hartono said a delay in land acquisition in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta ' where an MRT elevated track would be built ' had affected the construction time line and would cost the city administration and the central government an additional estimated Rp 500 billion (US$37 million) in fines. Meanwhile, assistant to city secretary for development Mara Oloan Siregar estimated that the project would require an estimated Rp 1.3 trillion extra.
The city administration is currently struggling with land acquisition for the MRT's construction because of disagreements with landowners. Plots of land along Jl. Pasar Jumat, Jl. Fatmawati, Jl. TB Simatupang, Jl. Haji Nawi and Jl. Cipete Raya, all in South Jakarta, are among those that have not been acquired despite the fact that foundations for elevated sections of the MRT are already being built in the area.
MRT Jakarta construction director M. Nasir revealed that other technical issues had caused the budget to swell.
'There are a number of regulations in Jakarta that we had to comply with. For example, contractors proposed the use of [steel type] BjTS 40. However, we can't use it in Indonesia because it is too hard, thus, it didn't comply with the regulatory seismic design. If we didn't comply, we wouldn't have got a construction permit, and so on,' he said.
He also pointed out technical matters related to utility ducts as another issue.
'Regarding utility ducts, it was apparently our responsibility, so MRT should address the problem ' that's another example,' he said.
At the project outset, MRT Jakarta faced a challenge of repositioning utility ducts on the capital's thoroughfares, where the MRT underground section would be constructed.
However, Nasir reassured that technical challenges would not disrupt the project, pointing out that land acquisition was the biggest challenge in the project.
'At the moment, we are prioritizing construction on already acquired land,' he said.
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