KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said Japan has proposed to construct new tracks for the medium-speed Jakarta-Surabaya railway connection, a project to be funded mainly by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“There would be three tracks. In addition to the existing ones, there [would be] tracks for medium-speed trains,” Budi said after speaking at an event in Jakarta on Friday, as reported by tempo.co, adding that his ministry was still studying the Japanese proposal.
If the proposal was agreed, it should not burden the government too much, he said.
He said JICA was arguing that if the project was going to be built around the old tracks, train operations on those tracks would be disrupted by the construction work. Laying new tracks would also avoid the overlapping use of tacks by the old slow trains and the new medium-speed ones.
The Japanese proposal comes after the Indonesian government recently announced its decision to use the old tracks to curb costs. Budi previously said that using the existing lines would help cap the construction cost at about Rp 60 trillion (US$4.44 billion), compared to the previous scenario of Rp 80 trillion using new tracks.
He said the cost was a major consideration, therefore, he would pay serious attention to the proposed budget for the project.
The minister said he would talk to the relevant parties to discuss the issue, because the government really wanted to keep the construction cost low. “I want the construction cost to be about Rp 60 trillion,” he added.
Editor: Wahyu Rahmawati