Indonesia to delay infrastructure projects, including Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail


President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (right) inspects the construction of Galang Hospital at a former refugees camp in Riau Island on April 1. The hospital was built to treat COVID-19 patients and began operation on April 6. (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

INDONESIA, April 23 (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry will suspend a number of infrastructure projects following the ministry’s decision to reallocate a large part of its budget funds to efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Works and Public Housing Miniser Basuki Hadimuljono said Tuesday said the postponed projects included overhauling the irrigation network in Baro Raya in Pidie, Aceh, revamping the waterfront area in Pariaman, West Sumatra, and building the Sp Tohpati - Tjokroaminoto bridge in Denpasar, Bali.

“The postponed projects will become priorities in 2021 and will be put up for auction in October 2020, ” said Basuki during a meeting with House of Representative commission V on Tuesday.

The budget changes will also cause a delay in several other projects, such as the development of the Way Sekampung Dam in Lampung, the Jragung Dam in Central Java, the Temef Dam in East Nusa Tenggara, the Kuningan East Ring Road in West Java and the construction of the Brebes Ring Road in Central Java. The ministry has also postponed supporting activities, such as project surveys and detailed engineering design plans.

“The reallocation is also based on the postponement of nonphysical activities, such as survey work and detailed engineering design work," said Basuki.

The ministry reallocated Rp 44.58 trillion, 37 percent of its 2020 budget, to finance infrastructure for COVID-19 emergency measures, including the construction of Galang Hospital in Riau Islands at the former camp for Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Vietnam War. The hospital, which began operations in early April, is used as a quarantine and medical facility to handle COVID patients.

Budget funds were also used to convert the athletes village in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, into a COVID hospital and to transform Gajah Mada University’s academy hospital into a COVID referral hospital in Yogyakarta.

The COVID-19 crisis has also affected the construction of other infrastructure projects in Indonesia, including the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project that is expected to be delayed. Railway developer PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) had planned to finish the project and start operations in 2021.

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