“We have already discussed this matter with our colleagues at the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry so construction can commence while land is being acquired.”
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Arief Kamaludin|KATADATA

The Transport Ministry has announced that former Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan issued a permit for the development of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project before he was replaced. The permit was signed nine days before President Joko Widodo reshuffled his cabinet on 27 July 2016.

Special staff member for Public Disclosure of Information at the ministry, Dewa Made Sastrawan, said Jonan inked the letter approving the permit on 18 July. This means Kereta Cepat Indonesia Cina (KCIC) should be able to start developing the 142.3 kilometre railway.

However, there were still some technical documents KCIC needed to complete at that time, such as the detailed land acquisition document that includes definite locations for this project. (Read: Luhut Urges Acceleration of High-Speed Railway and Airport Projects).

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The ministry then gave KCIC a chance to finish completing these documents. “So there will be a ministerial decree to complete existing policies. This would not be a new decree,” Dewa said in Jakarta on Thursday(18/8).

Meanwhile, the Director General of Railways, Prasetyo Boeditjahjono, said KCIC can start construction because it has already acquired 60 percent of the land required for this project. He requested that the rest of the project be completed by December 2017.

“We have already discussed this matter with our colleagues at the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry so construction can commence while land is being acquired,” said Prasetyo. “So the concept would be like building a toll road.”

However, Prasetyo did not explain why the Transport Ministry had not announced that this permit was issued last month. He only said that the ministry must facilitate KCIC so the company will be able to finish the project by 2019. “It's not about us accommodating them; it's how we can complement one other,” he said.

Previously, Wijaya Karya (WIKA), as lead of the Jakarta – Bandung high-speed railway project, announced construction would start next month. This target could be achieved if Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi issued a permit for the development of the project last week. (Read: Wika Aims to Start High-Speed Train Construction Next Month).

Wijaya Karya Corporate Secretary Suradi said the firm is currently finalising the contract for this project with KCIC. Both companies aim to have their management sign this IDR 17 trillion contract by the end of this month.

WIKA and KCIC discussed many issues during their last meeting, including the value of each investment component for the project. The project will start with a number of civil works and excavations.

“All of the work, except for signalling and rolling stock,” Suradi told Katadata on Monday (8/8). (Read: Investment Value of High-Speed Railway Could Increase Following Technical Changes).