The Jakarta Post
The government has not decided whether the Jakarta-Surabaya medium-speed railway would use existing railway tracks or develop new tracks as hinted by Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan, an official has said.
Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) head Unggul Priyanto said if the second option was chosen, the government would have the additional task of acquiring land for the project.
Land acquisition has always been a serious problem in infrastructure development. Construction of the Jakarta-Bandung railway has been stalled by acquisition problems even though the groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2016.
“Theoretically, state-owned railway operator PT KAI owns the land a number of meters from existing tracks, but the land is often occupied by people,” said Unggul when attending a mapping process for the location of the project using a drone produced by BPPT in Cerebon, West Java, over the weekend.
Therefore, the government would have to acquire land for the project if the government decided to develop new tracks, he said.
However, he said, if the government used the existing tracks, there was the question of whether the existing tracks could accommodate the future needs of the railway industry.
“We're talking about the scores of years after project construction. Can we rely on the existing tracks?” he said as quoted by tribunnews.com. (bbn)