TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Planning and Development Ministry (Bappenas) is currently planning to construct Papua's first railway connection in Papua, probably between Sorong and Manokwari in West Papua.
The Director General for Transportation for Bappenas Bambang Prihartono, said in Jakarta on Friday, July 31, 2015, that Bappenas is still doing feasibility studies on other sections within Papua - the result of which will determine the location of other rail links in Papua, which will carry both passenger and cargo.
"We hope those feasibility studies could be finished by the end of the year," said Bambang, who added that the construction of rail links on Papuan soil will increase connectivity within the region, where an industrial zone is being planned.
"The study will map the potential of each areas, which will determine what sort of rail gauges and services will be used on a set area," said Bambang, before adding that the study will also work out the total amount needed to construct each sections.
That said, Bambang also explained that the construction of a rail link in Papua will take some time to commence and complete. "After the feasibility study - which costs some Rp2-3 billion - we will begin the design process, which could cost around Rp30 billion," he said, before adding that Bappenas hopes that by 2019, the physical construction could commence.
It is known that the Papuan rail link is one infrastructure project that the government plans to prioritize in order to increase connectivity among across the Islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua. Previously, the Directorate General for Rail Services for the Transport Ministry has calculated that by 2019, the construction of rail links outside of Java will cost around Rp234 trillion.