The Jakarta Post
The Papua and West Papua Highway Center is currently completing the construction of a 4,325 kilometer trans-Papua highway to accelerate development in the provinces.
"Of the 4,325 kilometers, around 827 kilometers pass through wild forests," said head of Papua and West Papua Highway Center Oesman Marbun on Wednesday as quoted by tempo.co.
He added that they still need around Rp 15 trillion (US$1.05 billion) to construct the section of the highway going through the forest.
"We have until 2018 to construct the 827 kilometer road. From the current trans-Papua highway project, there are some roads that have been increased, some hardened and some asphalted," said Oesman.
The trans-Papua highway is set to connect strategic areas such as Manokwari, Sorong, Wondama and Enarotali in Pania, Nabire, Bioga, Sugapa, Ilaga and Mulia in Puncak Jaya, Sinak and Karubaga in Tolikara as well as Ilu, Jayapura and Elelim. The project will also include underpass roads, which will connect areas like Habema, Wamena, Paro, Mapenduma, Kenyam and Oksibil in Bintang Mountains, Dekai in Yahukimo and Iwur, Tanah Merah, Merauke and Waropko.
According to Oesman, one of the challenges is dealing with the locals' customary land rights. Regarding the issue, the regional government's help is needed, especially at the construction site.
"The regional government has been very helpful in negotiating the land compensation process," said Oesman. (kes)(++++)
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