Hand in Hand to Built a Prosperous Indonesia

ECONOMIC crisis 1998 had stopped infrastructure development in Indonesia. The situation changed when President Yudhoyono took in charge. Since the first year of his reign, infrastructures got larger budget allowance apart from others expenses. The President eagerness to boost regional economics growth is delivered into The Ministry of Public Works vision.

That is providing a reliable, beneficial and sustainable public infrastructure in order to support the realization of a safe and peaceful, fair and democratic and more prosperous Indonesia. Thus, the role of infrastructure is undoubtedly very important in social and economic development.

“The urgent issue addressed to the bottlenecks in the physical dimensions of our economic activities. That are including facilitate seamless flow of goods through transportation infrastructure, promoting the efficiencies in economic production through reliable supply of clean water, as well as providing settlements infrastructure to support the growth in population as an important elements in achieving sustainable economic development,” said Djoko Kirmanto, Indonesia Minister of Public Works.

Since the requirements of economic growth is a reliable infrastructure and public goods. It took the first place in development and it should be held in area-structuring concept, due to continuity of infrastructure benefit to economics growth. In order to realizing vision and goals, the ministry put it into several integrated programs based on infrastructure functions.

The first programs are focusing on stabilization of national road network capacity to strengthen and accelerate regional economics growth. It point out to main economic lanes, such as North Java Coast Lane, East Sumatera Lane, North Java Lane, South Kalimantan Lane, and West Sulawesi Lane. It is recorded that East Sumatera Lane, South Kalimantan Lane, and West Sulawesi Lane has improved their width to 7 meter to meet their standards. The Ministry did the same act to inter-island roads links in Halmahera, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Nusa Tenggara Barat, and eleven-priority lane in Papua.

With the same priorities, the Ministry is improving central distribution and access roads, such as ports and airports. They have executed the plan on Kuala Namu Airports–Medan, Lombok Baru–Airports, Semarang North Ring Roads, Four Lane roads to link Tohpati and Kusamba on Bali Island to support Padang Bai Ports, Cakung–Cilincing Roads, and Tanjung Priok supporting highway.

The Ministry of Public Work gave private sectors a chance to participate in fulfilling a large demand of public infrastructures and administer government budget. It went to roads that have a good economic and financial value, such as development and operation of toll roads. That is a good investment opportunities for private sectors.

At the end of 2005, there is 687.87 km toll roads on Indonesia and the Government had a plan to connect Java in a single toll roads networks. It named as Trans Java Toll Roads and stretch about 1.208,49 km that linked Merak, Jakarta, Surabaya, and Banyuwangi. In order to achieve the goal, The Ministry has set a target to build 1,150 km of toll roads by the end of 2009, and depend on private investment.

The Trans Java Toll Road has an essential role to Java Island, stretch from the social, economic and commercial point of view. The main artery of land transportation designed by connecting the toll roads that had been built before on Java. Not all of them are officially linked; there are many missing links in many areas.

The Solo–Kertosono, for instance, which connects Merak to Surabaya with a total length 760km. The adjoining map shows the entire Trans java toll road. The Solo-Kertosono toll road will complete the Trans Java toll road. Solo is one of the main cities in Central Java and a center of Javanese culture, as well as a center for industry and trade. The Ngawi-Kertosono section will connect Ngawi and Kertosono, both located in the Province of East Java.

The Ministry of Publics Works has a commitment to serve the best public infrastructure in the country and support both regional and national economics growth. However, to build a nation, we cannot only rely on the government. There is private sector to help the government, as long as the cooperation lays on the same vision of business.

On the other hand, toll roads are perceived as straightforwardly to built, low-risk in return, and the most important thing, there is still a big chance to do the business, since many island and region still underdeveloped. (Fitri Kuswari)

Jakarta Globe, 29 June 2009

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