Ministry of transportation preparing a railway and other infrastructure projects in the future capital city in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara regencies, East Kalimantan, even the government has postponed the program - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Ministry of transportation preparing a railway and other infrastructure projects in the future capital city in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara regencies, East Kalimantan, even the government has postponed the program. The projects is estimating need costs Rp53.3 trillion (US$3.60 billion).

“The construction of railways including double tracks, maintenance and operation of state owned infrastructure,” director general at the transportation ministry, Zulfikri, told the lawmakers on Thursday (09/10).

The railway line development plan is carried out through a private public cooperation scheme and will connecting Tabang Muara Wahau – Maloy (North) along 305 kilometers and the boundary of Central Kalimantan – Bulumuning along 196 kilometers. The project will be implemented by PT Kereta Api Borneo and Russian Railway.

Beside Russia, there are investors from China who are interested in working on this cross railroad track. In January 2020, a construction service company from China, China Railway Liuyuan Group Co., Ltd expressed its desire to invest in infrastructure in East Kalimantan, one of which is the Borneo Railway.

On Wednesday, minister of national development planning and Head of Bappenas, Suharso Monoarfa, confirmed that the new capital city project was postponed to 2021. The delay was carried out as the country switched its priorities to mitigating the pandemic.

“We are still in the framework of preparation, and we are continuing the master plan and construction of basic infrastructure in Samarinda and Balikpapan,” he told the parliament on Sept. 8.

He asserted, the ministry still allocates the 2021 State Budget for the basic development in the new capital city, included the national development planning program of Rp831.4 billion in this year and for next year worth of Rp1.7 trillion. Earlier, public works and public housing minister, Basuki Hadimuljono, said the government would begin the construction of the new capital starting next year.

While, President Joko Widodo has said the planned smart metropolis that supported the growth of innovation and green industries, would cost around Rp466 trillion. He added, the state budget would cover Rp89.4 trillion or 19.2 percent of the development costs and Rp 253.4 trillion or 54.4 percent of the budget would be financed through the government cooperation with businesses and the remaining Rp123.2 trillion, 26.4 percent of the cost, would be gained through private financing.

Currently, the head of states has formed an authority agency to manage the projects. Monoarfa said, there were many issues that had to be defined and determined, especially regarding the form of the capital. For an example, what the autonomous region would be like, what the special region was like, then what the district or central government would be.

He explained, the capital will be built on 180,000 hectares of land already owned by the government, thereby minimizing the cost of land acquisition. Balikpapan is home to oil refineries and a port, making it an economic center of Kalimantan. Samarinda is the capital of East Kalimantan Province. Compared with other parts of Kalimantan previously considered, much of the necessary infrastructure is already in place. Both cities have an international airport, and they could be connected to the rest of the island via highways and railways.

Widodo earlier said he wants the new capital to be green, smart city, meaning he wants it wired with the latest information and communications technology. The aim is also to keep the city compact, so it does not harm surrounding tropical rain forests.

The single track railway construction project supported by infrastructure including stations, coal jetty, port and power plant with a capacity of 15 megawatts.

US$1: Rp14,800

Written by Editorial Staff, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com