TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced on Friday, September 4, that the Indonesian government decided to drop the high-speed train and opted to develop a medium-speed train network.
“Therefore, I’m instructing the State-Owned Enterprises Minister to follow-up the development of the Jakarta-Bandung train project,” Jokowi said in a release on Friday.
Jokowi explained that the project would be financed with a business-to-business scheme instead of by the state budget. Jokowi added that the government was preparing a high-speed train project to connect Jakarta and Surabaya, in addition to development of railway networks outside Java.
Despite the announcement, two of Working Cabinet ministers provided different comments over the high-speed train project. Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said that the project was canceled since the distance between the two cities was too short for a high-speed train. Darmin explained that with a distance of 150 kilometers and 5-8 stations in between, the train would not be able to reach its maximum speed,” Darmin said at his office on Thursday.
Based on the consideration, Jokowi said that the medium-speed project would be the most feasible one. Darmin predicted that the medium-speed train project would be cheaper by 30-40 percent.
However, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said that her ministry would continue to develop the high-speed train project. Currently, Rini and a state-owned enterprise are setting up a consortium to run the project.
“[The project] will be kicked off this year,” Rini said at her office on Friday.
AYU PRIMA SANDI | ANDI RUSLI | TRI ARTINING PUTRI | GRACE