President Joko Widodo met with Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama on Friday to discuss progress on the construction of the capital’s planned Light Train Transit (LRT) mass-transportation project.
The Jakarta government plans to build seven LRT corridors in the city at a cosy of around Rp 35 trillion ($2.6 billion). The money is to be drawn from the provincial budget and will fund the Regional Public Service Agency (BLUD). That government body will be managed under the authority of the city government’s transport agency, According to the Jakartaglobe.
Basuki has said he wants to break ground this year. The project has seen more than its fair share of false dawns, and obstructions remain to starting work on the first corridor, a 21.6-kilometer line connecting Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta to Kebayoran Lama in the city’s south.
“The president wants the LRT project to start this year.” Basuki said on Friday.
“We believe that the government should develop infrastructure.”
Joko Widodo has made it clear he regards infrastructure as a top priority for his administration. Indonesia has underspent its regional peers for more than a decade when it comes to building roads, ports and adding to the electricity grid. The result is higher logistics costs and miserable commutes.
“We will start leasing in the middle of this year and we can plan the construction by the end of the year,” Basuki said.
A rail link in the capital is seen as being a particularly important indicator of whether Indonesia can realise its infrastructure goals by 2019. Thailand and Singapore built intracity rail lines in Bangkok and the Lion City decades ago while Indonesia failed to do the same in Jakarta because of protectionism and project-financing issues.