KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo is expected to showcase a trial run of the country’s first high-speed railway project on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in November, a senior cabinet minister said.
“In November during the G20 Summit, the trial run of the high-speed railway project will be conducted from Plered to Tegalluar [West Java],” State News Antara quoted Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Saturday, April 2.
“President Widodo and several leaders perhaps China’s President Xi Jinping and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan [Abu Dhabi Crown Prince] are expected to witness the trial run,” Luhut said.
The railway project will connect the 150-kilometer distance between the capital Jakarta and Bandung in West Java and cut the travel time to less than an hour from about three hours now.
Previously, he had inspected the project and said it would run well as there were no more problems with the development progress and its funding. However, the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) is currently undergoing an audit of its overrun cost. The project was swelling to 26.7 trillion rupiahs ($1.9 billion) due to its construction and land acquisition. Besides, the project was also delayed.
“The President already gave his directives that the schedules of the project should not be missed. The delay of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project was due to a geological matter as there was a very large spring in the tunnel,” Luhut said.
“Therefore, it could delay the construction project by three to four months. We hope that it will be completed in June next year, but we try to complete it sooner,” he added.
Although the project was delayed, the senior minister assured that the trial run will be conducted at the end of 2022 and will commence operations in June 2023.