Jakarta’s LRT Project in Limbo again, Groundbreaking Postponed
The much anticipated Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is in limbo once more after the city administration decided to halt groundbreaking work indefinitely.
Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said after a meeting at the State Palace on the high-speed rail project between Jakarta and Bandung on Friday that he had decided to postpone the project.
“In June or July, the central government will construct the high-speed rail project. I do not want the project’s schedule to overlap,” he told reporters at City Hall.
Ahok added that he did not want the city to become overwhelmed with projects that would unduly burden commuters.
The high-speed rail project proposed by PT Kereta Api Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) will span 142 kilometers. The government has agreed to build four stations along the route, namely Halim, Karawang, Walini and Tegalluar, in addition to a facility outside Tegalluar.
The groundbreaking for the high-speed rail project is slated for Jan. 21.
Ahok said that the LRT was designed to “feed” transportation while the city’s transportation backbone would be the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, presently under construction. It is thought, therefore, that the LRT plan should not interfere with the MRT project.
Overlapping routes have become a major problem for the capital city’s giant transportation projects.
Before the plan for high-speed rail, Jakarta planned at least six major transportation projects. Besides the city’s LRT and MRT, others included an LRT project by the central government, an airport rail-line by state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), an elevated Transjakarta busway system and elevated toll roads.
However, many of the routes of the projects were drawn separately, without planners consulting each other and without a master plan. Stakeholders are now trying to iron out the problems, including those related to overlapping routes.
One of the most salient problems is having three giant projects connecting Jakarta with Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten: KAI’s two projects — the extension of the current Greater Jakarta commuter line from Batu Ceper in Tangerang to the airport and the elevated rail line from Gambir station in Central Jakarta to the airport via Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) and Kamal Muara in North Jakarta — and the LRT project connecting Kemayoran in Central Jakarta to the airport.
Other controversial routes that overlap include the six elevated toll roads to be built by PT Jakarta Tollroad Development (JTD).
Ahok said he was pessimistic that the LRT project to the airport would continue although he believed that such a project could be useful for the Asian Games in 2018.
Differing from Ahok, Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda) head Tuti Kusumawati said that construction of the LRT would not necessarily be delayed.
“We do need to prepare all the requirements to start the construction,” she said.
Tuti said that the technical specification requirements were not yet completed. “The route has also not been determined by the Transportation Ministry,” she said.
Tuti said that completing the requirements was something that was still in process. “We hope they can be completed as soon as possible,” she said.
Source: The Jakarta Post