The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo opened on Friday section two of the Gempol-Pasuruan (Gempas) toll road, which stretches for 20.5 kilometers.
Gempas is the easternmost part of the 920-km-long trans-Java highway, which spans from Merak in Banten to Pasuruan in East Java. Gempas was open during this year’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus), although its construction had not yet been fully completed.
Jokowi said the government was striving to complete all parts of the trans-Java highway project and it was hoped that all toll roads connecting Merak to Pasuruan could be fully operational by the end of 2018.
The road ahead: President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (second left) talks with Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono and East Java Governor Soekarwo after the inauguration of section two of the Gempol-Pasuruan toll road on June 22. (JP/Aman Rochman)
Jokowi further said once the trans-Java toll road project was connected, logistics distribution activities could be faster and more cost-efficient, significantly reducing the prices of goods and services.
“On toll fees, we must discuss it with investors because this toll road project is conducted by state-owned enterprises and private investors. The government doesn’t want to see them [investors] suffering from losses, but we also want to see that the people can get great benefits,” said Jokowi.
“These toll roads must be integrated with economic centers [sea ports, airports and industrial zones],” he added.
Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution and East Java Governor Soekarwo attended the inauguration ceremony, which was held at the Bukir exit toll gate in Pasuruan, East Java, on Friday.Read also: ‘Trembesi’ trees to provide shade along Gempol-Pasuruan toll road
Jokowi said it was hoped that in the end of 2019, the Merak-Pasuruan toll road could be connected to Banyuwangi. (ebf)