Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will continue building a road along the border between the country and Papua New Guinea in Papua, a cabinet minister has said.
Until the end of 2017, around 891 kilometers of the total length of 1,098 kilometers were already completed, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.
"In 2019, all border roads between Merauke in the south and Jayapura in the north would be connected," Basuki said in a news release received here on Saturday.
Basuki issued the statement on his way to inspect the condition of a 424 kilometer part of road between Merauke and Boven Digul.
The condition of road, which largely unpaved, is relatively good although there are around 58 kilometers need repairs.
The Minister said he would send a special team from Jakarta to speed up work for the road repair.
He said the border road had given concrete results for the border people.
"Normally in the past, it took weeks to cover the distance, but now it needs only 8 hours and when the condition is better it would take only 6 hours," he said.
District Head of Boven Digul Benediktus Tambonot, who accompanied the minister in the inspection said the condition of the road between Merauke and Bouven Digul had improved gradually.
"I thank the government for the serious attention that in three to four months the repairs would be finished," Benediktus said.
He said the road has greatly facilitated transport of goods and people and the impact is a decline in the prices of goods needed by the people in interior areas.
Previously when the roads were badly damaged and were not yet connected the prices were high , but now the prices of essential goods, building materials are much cheaper, he said.
The repair of the road between Merauke-Boven Digul were difficult because of the swamp area and soft soil. It needs much of land filling. (AS)