Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Jakarta Monorail to Be Cancelled

Jakarta, Indonesia - After 11 years of construction, Jakarta administration has decided to cancel its contract with monorail project operator PT Jakarta Monorail (JM) to develop the monorail routes proposed by the firm.

Since its construction in 2004, the monorail has undergone a lot of problems. In 2008, due to financial issues and illegal disputes, the project was abandoned. The construction resumed in October 2013, with JM as contractor. However, its construction has not progressed following disagreements between the city and the company. Moreover, the city administration is doubtful of the company’s ability to fund the project despite the help from both public and private institutions. Axis capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore has even extended their help the progress of the project.

This 2015, another halt is being pushed through by the company. Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said that the city was currently drafting a letter to PT Jakarta Monorail, the project developer, to end cooperation.

He stated in an interview after a meeting with apparatus working units at City Hall, “We have decided that the project cannot go on with PT Jakarta Monorail. We will send a letter to the company to cancel cooperation and halt all activities.”

Ahok went on that the route JM proposed to build was not feasible. JM had planned to construct the first route, the green line, extending 14.3 kilometers from the city police headquarters (Komdak) to Satria Mandala Museum, both in South Jakarta, including 16 stations.

The stations and depot were to be built in Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta and Setiabudi in South Jakarta, among other places. Ahok said that the station in Tanah Abang would increase traffic congestion in the area as it would be built on existing roads. Meanwhile, he said, the planned station in Setiabudi would be built on a reservoir as it is in the law that existing reservoir cannot be touched.

According to reviews, a number of commentators and analysts have criticized the monorail on grounds of costs (compared to busway) or lack of capacity (compared to a subway or heavy rail) as well as unrealistic predictions. Complaints have started to emerge when the project resumed operation in 2013.

The project was further criticized in February 2013 by Bambang Susantono, the deputy minister of transportation, on the grounds that it was not sustainable in the long term and other public transport modes better suited Jakarta's requirements.

The two line project agreed to in June 2013 is supposed to be built without any government financing. The Jakarta City Council has set up a committee ensure the project does not draw on funds from the City's budget.

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