Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Millions of Indonesians brace for the big homecoming next week for the Eid al-Fitr festivities, more commonly known as the Lebaran holiday exodus, or "mudik."

The government has prepared necessary transportation infrastructure to make the annual journey home of the 2018 Lebaran holiday travelers, or pemudik, as pleasant as possible.

In its efforts to ensure safety and security for the pemudik while travelling, the government is currently checking all modes of transportation, repairing damaged roads, and working on security strategies for travelers to feel safe and comfortable on their trips during the holidays.

The National Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri), as well as other institutions, have gained the mandate, trust, and honor of the people to provide a sense of security and tranquility and to create order and a conducive climate.

TNI Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto stated that with such sense of security, tranquility, and a conducive climate, the Lebaran homecoming and festivities this year will run in an orderly, safe, and smooth manner.

Polri and TNI have the solidarity and synergy to protect the Indonesian people and state in addition to maintaining security during the Lebaran mass exodus.

Hundreds of thousands of security officers from the Police and Armed Forces will be deployed across the country to maintain security during the Lebaran festivities.

In addition, all public elements have been urged to help the Police and Military security personnel maintain peace, order, and security during the holiday exodus.

As in the previous years, the number of people to travel by means of air and sea transportation this year is forecast to increase significantly.

To ensure a pleasant journey home, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has stated that security at all airports in Indonesia will be intensified following recent acts of terror in several areas.

"The number of National Defense Forces (TNI) and National Police (Polri) personnel will be increased to step up security at every airport in the country," the transportation minister noted in Cirebon, West Java, recently.

According to Sumadi, the recent acts of terror in numerous areas had become one of the key concerns of the Transportation Ministry to ensure security services to the community.

Furthermore, he stated that real security not only involves the Police and TNI but also the people.

"Terrorist acts recently have become our concern. Hence, we will involve the Police and TNI to make efforts to stop such incidents. However, it is important that the community should participate," he noted.

The transportation minister asserted that the community must play an active role, so that security personnel can prevent acts of terror and other dangerous activities.

In addition, Sumadi has inspected three facilities -- Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten, Pulo Gebang bus terminal in East Jakarta, and Gambir train station in Central Jakarta -- that might be overcrowded by passengers during the Lebaran homecoming this year to ensure that they are ready to accommodate and serve travelers.

Sumadi believes that preparedness of public facilities is a key factor to ensure a smooth homecoming trip.

These three locations would witness a significant increase in the number of passengers, so the facilities need to be prepared.

The government`s decision to set additional collective leave for the 2018 Lebaran homecoming on June 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, and 20 is expected to affect the distribution of passengers.

The return flow of holidaymakers is expected to reach its peak on June 20 or June 24.

Some transportation firms have taken precautionary measures to handle the sharp rise in the number of passengers by increasing the frequency of their trips.

The Garuda Indonesia Group has prepared 150,510 seats on additional flights to handle the surge in the number of passengers during the Eid homecoming season, forecast from June 8 to June 24 on both domestic and international routes.

Of the total 768 additional flights, 480 flights will be served by Citilink and 288 flights by Garuda Indonesia.

The additional seats have increased 39 percent as compared to 107,750 extra seats during last year.

Hence, the government has provided means of public transportation to ease the flow of traffic for holiday travelers.

In Banyumas District, Central Java Province, the Type A Terminal of Bulupitu in Purwokerto is ready to serve travelers during the Lebaran holiday season.

Bulupitu Terminal Head Hadi Suharto stated that he had readied dozens of inter-city buses in the province and inter-provincial routes (AKAP) to serve travelers.

In addition, several tourism buses will be readied as a backup in the face of a likely surge in the number of passengers.

"Based on last year`s feedback experience, the number of AKAP buses (Jakarta destinations) departing from the Bulupitu Terminal reached 40 per day," he stated.

Furthermore, he noted that all buses at the terminal, run by the Directorate General of Land Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, routinely undergo physical inspection, and letters are issued daily before being sent to the destination city.

According to Suharto, the inspection aims to evaluate the road-worthiness of the vehicle and the fleet`s reliability to ensure security and comfort to passengers.


Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2018