Batang, C Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said land acquisition problem has been hampering the toll road construction project.

"It should have been carried out, but could not be because the land acquisition process was problematic," Jokowi complained during a groundbreaking ceremony of the Pemalang-Batang and Batang-Semarang toll road development, here on Friday.

Such obstacles have resulted in the construction cost soaring as land prices multiply, according to him.

"At present, the price of land has increased ten to twenty fold due to the delay in toll road construction. Therefore, Alhamdulillah, one hoped it resumes now," the Head of State noted.

The construction of Trans Java toll road, expected to be completed in 2018, also faces land acquisition problem, he remarked.

He suggested that people must be invited to a dialogue where it should be explained that the toll road was for the benefit of millions of people, and was not for the president alone, or his ministers.

If the project continues to face such problems, Indonesia will be left behind, he added.

"Roads have a significant role in development. Competition among countries is so open and tight, therefore road infrastructure is crucial," he reminded.

After attending the ceremony, President Jokowi joined Mass Friday Prayers at the Grand Mosque in Batang District.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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