Indonesia: Land acquisition, human capital hamper trans-Sumatra toll road development

  • Land acquisition and human capital issues have remained a challenge in the development of the mega trans-Sumatra toll road project, which might delay its scheduled completion.
  • State-owned construction company Hutama Karya, which is in charge of most of the trans-Sumatra toll road sections, is still struggling to acquire land in parts of Sumatra, the firm’s president director Budi Harto said.
  • The company has built 629 kilometers of the trans-Sumatra toll road as of Oct 20, with 513 km are already in operation. Budi said the company was currently building an additional 614 km of toll road within the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
  • “We are optimistic that we can finish construction by 2022. However, we still need to acquire land in several areas,” he said during an online discussion held by Kompas.
  • For example, the opening of the Cisumdawu toll road, which will connect the West Java capital of Bandung and the newly built Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, has been delayed from the end of 2020 to Sep 21 because of land problems.
  • The government has aimed for the trans-Sumatra toll road to stretch over 2,900 km upon completion, connecting Sumatra’s southernmost province of Lampung to Aceh.
  • It has also set aside IDR6.2tr in state capital injections (PMN) from the state budget to Hutama Karya to develop the mega project.
  • Indonesian Toll Road Authority (BPJT) general division head Mahbullah Nurdin echoed Budi’s statement regarding the lengthy land acquisition process, particularly at the Padang-Pekanbaru toll road section, as part of the area is considered to be customary land by West Sumatrans who are reluctant to sell it.

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