JAKARTA. Thousands of police and military personnel are on standby to help Muslim travelers across the country on their way to meet families in their hometowns for the upcoming Idul Fitri celebration.
In North Sumatra 3,530 personnel from the police, military, Transportation Ministry and the Public Order Unit will be deployed in a joint operation named Operation Ketupat Toba 2014.
“The Operation Ketupat is conducted concurrently with the election security operation,” North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Syarif Gunawan told reporters after attending the Operation Ketupat Toba roll call at Merdeka Square in Medan on Monday.
Syarif added that the roll call was aimed at assessing the readiness of the police and relevant institutions.
North Sumatra Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho, inspecting the roll call said police would focus their attention on security during the home-bound exodus and keeping an eye on empty homes.
The Central Sulawesi provincial administration on Monday also held a roll call for Operation Ketupat 2014 at the gubernatorial office, which was led by Governor Longki Djanggola who was accompanied by Central Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto and naval commander Lt. Col. Ferry Supriadi.
In Bali, besides police and military, a total of 44,640 pecalang (traditional Balinese security guards) across the island will be deployed to help safeguard the mass homeward exodus for Idul Fitri.
“We will be involved with the police and army to safeguard Bali during Idul Fitri,” Made Mudra, the chairman of Bali’s pecalang association, Manggala Agung Pasikian Pecalang Bali, said on Monday.
“During Idul Fitri, we will safeguard our respective villages, especially housing complexes with empty properties left by those traveling,” Mudra added.
This year, pecalang will assist the 13,734 police officers that will be deployed by the Bali Police.
The heavy traffic during the Idul Fitri exodus is likely to lead to a higher number of accidents. Last year, 3,675 accidents occurred during the holiday journey, with 795 fatalities.
To anticipate such accidents the Indramayu regency administration in West Java has placed on standby hundreds of medical and other workers along the main north coast highway (Pantura) seven days before and after Idul Fitri.
“Around 500 medical workers, consisting of doctors and assistants will be posted simultaneously at 17 health posts along Pantura in Indramayu. They will be on duty during the peak of the exodus,” said Indramayu Health Office head Dedi Rohendi on Monday.
Dedi also instructed all hospitals and community health centers (Puskesmas), located along Pantura to remain open around the clock during the exodus and return journey.
The hospitals are the Indramayu General Hospital, Pertamina Balonagn Hospital, Zam-Zam Hospital, Sentot Hospital and Permata Medical Center.
At least 15 Puskesmas located along the route would also be put on standby around the clock, he added.
According to Dedi, the staff who have been deployed to serve the homebound travelers are doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists and sanitation workers.
The medical workers will be backed up by non-medical personnel, such as members of the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) and field operational workers, such as drivers.
Dedi said his office would also provide 27 cars to help the medical workers in providing assistance to travelers. “We have assigned the cars to all the Puskesmas,” said Dedi, adding that all the medical services would be provided free. (Apriadi Gunawan and Ni Komang Erviani)
Editor: Hendra Gunawan