Lake Toba area development to be completed in 2019: Minister Pandjaitan

Lake Toba area development to be completed in 2019: Minister Pandjaitan

Lake Toba panoramic aerial photos of the area seemed to North Tapanuli, North Sumatra, on Tuesday (Sept. 6, 2016). (ANTARA/Irsan Mulyadi)

The hydropower plant will be finished next year."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The development of the Lake Toba area in North Sumatra into a main tourist destination in the country will be completed in 2019, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan remarked.

"We made the programs to be synchronized," Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said after attending the coordination meeting on the development of Lake Toba area said here on Wednesday.

The meeting was also attended by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, President Director of PT Garuda Indonesia Arief Wibowo, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Transportation.

To meet these targets, the minister has coordinated with relevant ministries to build supporting infrastructure such as roads and electricity.

"Two toll roads, namely from Tebing Tinggi to Siantar and from Siantar to Parapat, should be completed," the minister affirmed.

With regard to electricity, the government would develop a hydropower plant of 70 MW to meet electricity needs in the region.

"The hydropower plant will be finished next year," the minister said.

On the occasion, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar would address environmental issues, including waste, pollution of the lake, floating cages and reforestation area.

Nurbaya said the the Environment and Forestry Ministry would cooperate with the Directorate General of Human Settlements, Public Works Ministry of Housing (PUPR) to install the wastewater treatment.

"Firstly, the government will map the settlement center to determine the location. If the source of pollution also comes from companies, we will check it," the minister remarked.

Then, the government would draft the detailed engineering design for the project.

"So, the wastewater treatment could be completed in 2017," the minister pointed out.

During a limited meeting on February 2, 2016, President Jokowi earlier instructed the relevant ministers to boost tourism, connectivity, and accessibility by developing infrastructure, such as airports, roads, and ports.

"I have also emphasized the need to prepare a branding strategy that can be used for marketing, offering services of international standards, and showcasing art and cultural attractions through good choreography and attractive designs," Jokowi noted at the time.

He said All tourism services and facilities in the lake area must be upgraded to meet international standards, he stated.

The head of the state also called for improving the tourism attractions that visitors throng at the lake area.

"Art and cultural attractions should be on display, in a well choreographed manner, and should be attractively designed," he remarked.

He also ordered to improve connectivity with Lake Toba and its surrounding areas, making these more accessible.

For the same reason, the seaport and airport infrastructure in North Sumatra must also be further developed.

"I understand that two or three weeks ago, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, the Coordinating Minister for Human and Cultural Development and the Tourism Minister had visited Lake Toba. We hope that there will be follow up on the ground," he added.