Sukabumi, W Java, (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) laid the cornerstone for the construction of the Bogor-Sukabumi double tracks in West Java on Friday.
The construction of the double tracks may increase the number of train trips to six or more from three, while the number of passengers may more than triple to 11,000 from 3,000, he said.
The double tracks will reduce traffic jams, he added.
He recalled a time before he was elected president in October 2014, when he had travelled from Bogor to Sukabumi. The road was so congested that it took six hours to drive nearly 60 kilometers from Bogor to Sukabumi, he noted.
The government has prioritized the construction of the transportation infrastructure in Sukabumi District by building the Bogor-Ciawi-Sukabumi toll road section, the Bogor-Sukabumi double track, and an airport, he stated.
"We hope the construction of the Bogor-Sukabumi (Bocimi) toll road section will be completed in October 2019. I have ordered the public works and people's housing minister to work on the project around the clock. I cannot endure traveling six hours (from Bogor to Sukabumi), let alone the public who are stuck in congestion every day," he remarked.
The president further claimed he had ordered the public works and people's housing ministry to construct the double tracks under a labor-intensive scheme as part of efforts to create more jobs.
The construction of the double tracks is designed to increase the mobility of people between the two towns and to encourage economic development in Sukabumi.
In the first phase of the project, the government will construct a 7-kilometer double track linking Cigombong to Cicurug and a 26.7-kilometer double track linking Bogor, Paledang, to Cicurug. The first phase of the project will be completed in 2019.
The construction of the 30.5-kilometer-long Cicurug-Sukabumi section will be completed in 2020.
The construction of the Bogor-Sukabumi double track will cost Rp2.45 trillion, which will come from the state budget.
Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, and Director General of Railway Affairs Zulfikri.(*)