JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’ Toll Road Regulatory Agency has ordered state owned toll road operator PT Hutama Karya consortium to build toll road projects in North Sumatera. The project has value Rp13.4 trillion (US$957.14 million), the agency announced on Friday (08/02).

The operator joined with PT Jasa Marga Tbk (IDX: JSMR) and PT Waskita Toll Road has formed PT Hutama Marga Waskita to run the projects. The projects including the construction of the Kuala Tanjung – Tebing Tinggi – Parapat toll road, in Medan, North Sumatra with total costs Rp9.6 trillion and targeted to operate in 2020 with a 40-year concession period.

The 143.5 kilometers (km) toll road project is a continuation of the 61.72 km Medan – Kualanamu – Tebing Tinggi toll road. Previously the Medan – Kualanamu – Tebing Tinggi had been completed and connected to the Belawan – Medan – Tanjung Morawa toll road.

The toll road project is considered to increase the connectivity of tourist destinations, including access from Medan to the Lake Toba National Strategic Tourism Area.

The toll road will consist of six sections, namely section one Tebing Tinggi – Inderapura (20.4 km), section two Inderapura – Kuala Tanjung (15.6 km), section three Tebing Tinggi – Serbelawan (30 km).

Then, section four Pemelawan – Pematang Siantar (28 km), section five Pematang Siantar – Seribudolok (22.3 km), and section six Seribudolok – Parapat (16.7 km).

The construction of the project is supported by government funding. This effort is intended to increase the level of investment feasibility. The support will be in the form of part of toll road construction in sections five and six. At present, the two sections are still in the stage of land acquisition.

The toll road business entity is working on sections one to four. For the section one, the progress of land acquisition has reached 63.7 percent and the construction progress of 18.1 percent. While, section two is still in the stage of land acquisition.

For the section three, the land acquisition has already reached 82 percent and construction starting this month and section four land acquisition is 22.75 percent with construction progress reaching 5.1 percent.

The toll road will have seven interchanges in Inderapura, Tebing Tinggi, Serbelawan, Pematang Siantar, Seribudolok, Parapat, and Simpang Susun Raya.

Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono said said the construction of the project could increase accessibility to Lake Toba, so that tourists have many choices of transportation routes, ranging from air, sea, and land transportation modes.

Currently, the minister adds, the government is also completing the preservation and widening of the 145.9 Km Samosir Island ring road. With the completion of the road work, the tourists also have the choice of a land transportation route to get to Samosir Island from Silangit.

During this time, the main access to get to Lake Toba and Samosir Island from the direction of Medan is via Parapat and crossing by ferry.

In addition to accelerating travel time from Medan to Lake Toba, he said, the toll road is also expected to spur economic growth in North Sumatra including the economic sector of the Port of Kuala Tanjung and tourism destination of Lake Toba which can be reached quickly.

US$1=Rp14.000

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com