BANDUNG. The mayor of West Java’s provincial capital of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil, has said that the construction of the high-speed railway connecting Bandung and Jakarta is set to be completed in 2020, a year later than initially planned.
"I have met [President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo], who indicated that the railway would be operational in 2020," he said on Thursday.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the railway, which is being constructed in cooperation with the Chinese government, was held in January 2016, but the US$5.9 billion project got off to a slow start. Construction was initially to start in late August.
Officials said a Chinese funding company would not disburse the funds for the 142-kilometer railway project as long as the land acquisition process had not finished.
The mayor, who is popularly called Emil, confirmed that land acquisition was one of the problems.
The government has given the Indonesian-Chinese joint venture, Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC), a fixed concession period of 50 years starting on May 31, 2019, the initial deadline for the completion of the project.
Previously, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said he could understand the difficulties faced by the developer. "When people want to invest [in the country], we shouldn't be too harsh with them," he said. (bbn)