The Jakarta Post
The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) has announced that the first railway service in Papua will be the Sorong-Manokwari route in West Papua.
Bappenas transportation director Bambang Prihartono also said that other routes are soon to follow, as the Ministry of Transportation is currently doing feasibility studies to decide which areas are suitable for railroad.
'We are hoping that the feasibility studies will be wrapped up by the end of this year,' Bambang said in Jakarta as quoted by Antara news Agency.
The project will accommodate both passenger and freight trains to increase connectivity in Papua, as well as supporting the planned development of industrial areas on the island.
Bambang explained that the project will need years of preparation before physical construction can start. After the feasibility study is finished, the Ministry of Transportation will begin the detailed engineering design (DED); both phases have an estimated cost of around Rp 33 billion (US$ 2.4 million).
The government is setting the target for physical construction to start as early as 2019.
The railroad project is one of the infrastructure priorities set by the government to facilitate transport on all major islands in the country. The Transportation Ministry Directorate General of Railways earlier has estimated the cost of the projects to be around Rp 234 trillion. (rad)(++++)
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