The Jakarta Post
A House of Representatives member has said President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's administration must be careful in implementing a high-speed train project worth billions of dollars as it may have negative social and economic impacts on the country's large population.
House Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah stated on Tuesday that the House was fully supportive of the government's plan to boost infrastructure development in the country, but said it must be careful in handling the implementation of its high-speed railway, one of the Jokowi administration's anticipated infrastructure projects, because it might affect people living in surrounding areas.
'This project has too many bad impacts,' Fahri said at the House complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
'Additionally, a high-speed railway project is not consistent with Jokowi's global maritime-axis vision,' he went on.
Fahri added that the project was a financial burden on the state budget and state railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia, which planned to operate the high-speed train connecting Jakarta and Bandung, the capital city of West Java.
The project, the lawmaker said, might put at risk land belonging to the state and to local people, and trigger social problems in areas affected by the project.
Indonesia's first high-speed railway will be developed in collaboration with China. The 142-kilometer railway is expected to be completed by 2019.
With a speed of around 350 kilometers per hour, it is expected to take only 36 minutes to travel between Bandung and Jakarta. The train will later be integrated with local mass transportation systems such as the mass rapid transit (MRT) and light rail transit (LRT) systems.
President Jokowi inaugurated the groundbreaking of the project on Jan. 21. (ebf)
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