"The contract says nothing about partial construction, only the whole, and there was an agreed ground plan [for the construction]."
Arief Kamaludin|KATADATA

Wijaya Karya, the company responsible for constructing the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, is expected to begin construction next month. The target can be achieved if Minister of Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi can issue the construction permit needed for the project this week.

Wijaya Karya company secretary Suradi said that the company is on the process of finalising the high-speed train project work contract with Kereta Cepat Indonesia Cina (KCIC). Suradi expected the IDR 17 trillion project to be signed by the two parties by the end of this month.

Suradi added that both Wijaya Kara and KCIC still needed to discuss several points in the contract, including the cost of investment components for the project. Suradi said that the job would include performing the civil works and earth filling.

“All [kinds] of work, except signals and rolling stock,” Suradi told Katadata, Monday (8/8). (Read: Technical Changes Applied, High-Speed Train Investment Value May Increase).

Wijaya Karya has been allowed to carry out 5.5 kilometres of construction work since March. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also inaugurated the project back in January 2016. However, the physical construction work has yet to start.

Suradi explained that the company cannot construct the project in stages. Under the contract, it must construct the whole high-speed train project.

Even though the Transport Ministry has issued a construction licence for 40 percent of the total length of the project, construction works still cannot be carried out. “The contract says nothing about partial construction, only the whole, and there was an agreed ground plan [for the construction].” Suradi said.

KCIC hoped that construction of the high-speed train project could be started this week. The Transport Ministry plans to issue the permit for the project, which has been delayed for months. After the licence has been issued, construction may commence.

The Transport Ministry’s Director General for Railways Prasetyo Boeditjahjono said that the construction licence for the project will be issued with several technical provisos, including that KCIC must complete the land acquisition process. In addition, KCIC must also complete the detailed engineering design (DED) for the high-speed train bridge construction.

“The licence will be issued, but with certain provisos,” Prasetyo said. The licence will issued even though these conditions have not been met. KCIC will be allowed to meet these conditions as the construction process proceeds. (Also read: Luhut Wants High-Speed Train and Airport Train Project Accelerated).