Land Acquisition Issues, Semarang Rail Link Construction Stalled

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  • Uji coba gerbong kereta api bekas dari Jepang di Stasiun Manggarai, Jakarta. Tempo/Taufiqurrahman

    Uji coba gerbong kereta api bekas dari Jepang di Stasiun Manggarai, Jakarta. Tempo/Taufiqurrahman

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The construction of a rail link to Semarang's Tanjung Emas Harbour has been delayed once more because of unfinished land acquisition maters, officials said on Tuesday, August 4.

    The rail link was slated to be completed in 2014, but due to land acquisition issues, state railway company PT KAI, has been forced to postpone the construction.

    "We are still in the middle of the process of land-acquisition," said the Head of Public Relations for Semarang's Branch of PT KAI, Suprapto, on Tuesday.

    According to Suprapto, around 130 families are still occupying a stretch of land, where the track is supposed to pass through. 

    The railway spans some 2,7 kilometers with a width of 6 meters, and is meant to increase the number of harbors and ports that are directly connected to the railway network. Currently, only Tanjung Priok in Jakarta and Tanjung Perak in Surabaya have been integrated to the main railway network.

    The General Manager for Tanjung Emas' Cargo Terminal, Eri Akbar Panggabean, said that the need to integrate ports to the main railway is more urgent than ever, as it would help increase the efficiency and hence, the revenue, of the port. "We hope to begin construction at the end of 2015," he said.

    According to Eri, the construction of the rail link will increase the loading and unloading capacity at the port significantly - up from 640,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) to around 1 million TEUs.

    EDI FAISOL