TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government has started the construction of the Sulawesi railway, starting with the construction of the Makassar-Parepare track section yesterday. Minister of Transportation Evert Erenst Mangindaan, said that this project is the first of its kind in Indonesia’s transportation history. "This is the first railway project outside Java and Sumatera," he said yesterday.
The project was the government's response in anticipation of the growing economy in Sulawesi and part of the National Railway Master Plan. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation Julius Adravida Barata, said that the construction of the Makassar-Parepare railroad, which spans for 145 kilometers, will begin in the Barru regency. The project is estimated to cost Rp 9 trillion (around US$ 769,43 million) including the procurement of the locomotives.
The plan to construct the Trans-Sulawesi railway has been proposed since 2001. However, the plan went into realization starting from June 1, 2012, when the Ministry of Transportation and the South Sulawesi Provincial Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding related to the project.