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JAKARTA - Governor Sutiyoso pledged on Monday that the ambitious Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project would be started in his second five-year term. "I will work hard to make it (the project) happen during my term," Sutiyoso told reporters after meeting the new Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Yutaka Limura at City Hall.
The governor discussed the continuation of the mega project with the ambassador. Sutiyoso said the ambassador promised to help the city administration in developing the project, including providing a soft loan. "But the central government has always said that the project is not a priority. It earlier used the Japanese loan for a double track railway on Java island," he said.
Sutiyoso claimed that the project would cost less if sections of the rail system were underground. He claimed that according to an earlier study, the project would be feasible, with a subsidy from the administration and tickets sales. "With the subsidy and ticket sales, we could cover the cost of the project," Sutiyoso said without mentioning the amount of the subsidy.
The project, which would span 15 kilometers from Jl. Fatmawati in South Jakarta to Kota area in West Jakarta, was planned by a Japanese, European and Indonesian consortium in 1995, and was then estimated to cost more than US$1.5 billion dollars. The Japanese government had given its commitment to finance the project that was estimated to be completed within five years, promising a special yen loan with 7.5 percent interest per year. The special loan package would have a maturity period of 40 years with a grace period of 10 years.
The project was postponed when the financial crisis hit Indonesia in mid-1997. Sutiyoso reiterated on Monday that the MRT was the only solution for the city's acute traffic problems. "The only way to solve the traffic problem in the city is the MRT," he said.
However, some transportation experts claim that the MRT is not the only solution, saying that undisciplined motorists and street vendors as well as poor regulations contributed to the problem. In an effort to ease traffic congestion, the city administration plans to soft launch its delayed busway project at the end of the year.
According to its initial plan, the MRT will be built in at least two stages. In the first stage, the MRT will connect Jl. Fatmawati to National Monument (Monas) park in Central Jakarta. It will combine an elevated track and subway.
There will be an elevated track from Jl. Fatmawati to Senayan, with the possibility of an extension to Dukuh Atas, all in South Jakarta. Then it will continue via a subway to Monas park. In the second stage, the construction cost of which has yet to be calculated, the MRT would start from Monas Park to Harmoni in Central Jakarta and then terminate at Kota railway station in West Jakarta. This section would probably be underground.
In a rough estimate made by the city administration, the subway project may save the capital annual losses of $900 million caused by traffic congestion.



Posted in General @ 11 November 2002 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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