Samarinda, E Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo has agreed to change regulation on the function of railways in East Kalimantan as proposed by Governor Awang Faroek.

With the issuance of the Government Regulation (PP) No. 6 of 2017 amending the PP No. 56 of 2009, railways in East Kalimantan will function not only for the transport of coal but also general cargoes, the governor said.

"This means railways could also carry other goods like crude palm oil, forestry products even passengers," he said.

President Joko Widodo and Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi welcomed the railway projects both ones being built by Blackspace and PT Kereta Api Borneo (KAB), he said.

The governor said he appreciated the decision of the government as it would encourage more investors to invest in the interior areas of the region, he said.

"Never before a president approved change in a government regulation proposed by a governor," he said.

He said the operation of railways in East Kalimantan would greatly contribute to the regional economic development as railway transport is much more efficient and cheaper.

Blackspace and PT Kereta Api Borneo (KAB both from Russia are building rail tracks in Kalimantan, originally designed specially for coal transport .

Kereta Api Borneo, the local unit of Russian Railways, plans to build rail track connecting the coal hub West Kutai with oil city and port Balikpapan.

The East Kalimantan provincial government had said earlier that Russian investors would also be involved in the construction of bridges, ports and techno parks in the province.

Blackspace, known as an oil and gas and coal company plans to build 500 kilometer long rail tracks to link Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.

The company has coal mine in Central Kalimantan.

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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