Solo-Ngawi toll road to boost local tourism potential: minister

Solo-Ngawi toll road to boost local tourism potential: minister

President Joko Widodo (left) talked with Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Rini Soemarno (right) after inaugurating the Solo-Ngawi Toll Road segment of Sragen-Ngawi on November 28, 2018). (ANTARA PHOTO / Wahyu Putro A / wsj).

Jakarta,  (ANTARA News) - Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Rini Soemarno is optimistic that the operation of the Solo (Central Java) - Ngawi (East Java) toll road along 90.43 kilometers would advance local tourism development.

In a statement received by Antara here Wednesday, she explained that the toll road would shorten travel time from and to tourist destinations in Solo, Sragen, and Ngawi.

Solo-Ngawi Toll Road can cut travel time from three hours via the highway to just 1.5 hours.

Soemarno stated that the reduction in travel time is also expected to accelerate logistics distribution and create new connectivity.

"There are quite a lot of tourist destinations along Solo to Ngawi. In Karanganyar, there is the famous Tawamangu. In Sragen, there is the Bayanan hot water site, Sangiran archaeological site, and Mount Kemukus hiking tour," Soemarno noted.

According to her, the development of tourism, supported by the toll road, will also improve culinary, handicrafts, and hotel business. The increase in demand for goods and services is also an important factor in enhancing the local economy.

"The government always encourages state-owned enterprises to be involved in these developments. At the same time, we increase the competitiveness of local products with various efforts, such as increasing electricity and telecommunications services, facilitating business loans to banks, and implementing community development partnership program," Soemarno remarked.

Sragen-Ngawi segment of Solo-Ngawi Toll Road has been operating without being charged a tariff till Nov 28, 2018, considering that it is still in the socialization period. The new toll road segment will be charged from Dec 6, 2018 at 00.00 at local time.

Solo-Ngawi Toll Road is divided into three sections, namely Section 1 Ngawi-Klitik along four kilometers, which has been operating since March 30, 2018; Section 2 Kartasura-Sragen (35 kilometers) inaugurated on July 15, 2018; and Section 3 Sragen-Ngawi (51 kilometers), which was just inaugurated.

The Solo-Ngawi Toll Road connects Boyolali District, Surakarta City, Karanganyar District, Sragen District in Central Java, and Ngawi District in East Java.

To facilitate the users, this toll road is equipped with eight Toll Gates (GT), namely Colomadu, Adi Sumarmo Airport, Ngemplak, Purwodadi, Karanganyar, Sragen, East Sragen, and Ngawi.

The operation of the Solo-Ngawi Toll Road strengthens the Trans Java Toll Road mega-project network incorporated in the National Strategic Project.

Reporting by Afut Syafril Nursyirwan