Samarinda, E Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo is slated to inaugurate the Samarinda-Balikpapan Toll Road, Acting East Kalimantan Provincial Secretary Meiliana told journalists here on Wednesday.

According to Meiliana, she had communicated with the presidential staff regarding the president`s presence for inaugurating the toll road linking Samarinda City and Balikpapan City in April.

"The target is to complete it before April, because the presidential staff has told me that the faster the work could be done, the better, so that the president will be able to inaugurate the project in April," she said.

So far, the process of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road construction is being accelerated. The 99.35-kilometer toll road has reached almost 85 percent.

Based on the last meeting and review on Jan 22, the first toll road in Kalimantan is expected to be completed in April 2019.

She added that before the inauguration of the toll road, the president had planned to review the progress of the V segment of the toll road next month.

The review coincided with the president`s visit to Balikpapan to open the activities of the All-Indonesia Regional Secretary Forum (Forsesdasi) in Feb 20 in Balikpapan. "On Feb 20, the president will open the "Forsesdasi" Event.

The plan is set to inaugurate the Teritip Reservoir and distribute five thousand land certificates in Balikpapan. The president will also highlight the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road, and the plan will also be reviewed," she explained.

According to Meiliana, the toll roads with these five sections still leave a number of issues related to land acquisition, especially those that are included in protected forest areas.

The process for sections IV and V is still speeding up. "The conclusion of the meeting with the Presidential Staff on Jan 22 requested for the immediate acceleration of the completion of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road, especially those related to land acquisition, the environment, and forestry," Meiliana added.

The construction of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road has been carried out since 2011. There are five sections of the toll road construction.

Section I starts from Km 13-Samboja, while section II is from Samboja Kutai Kartanegara to Palaran I-Samarinda. Section III starts from Samboja to Palaran II, Section IV from the direction of Palaran to Mahkota II Samarinda Bridge, and Section V from Manggar-Balikpapan to Km 13.

Toll roads are built using East Kalimantan`s APBD funds of 1.5 trillion, funds from PT Jasa Marga Balikpapan-Samarinda (JBS), as well as China`s Loans.
Reporting by Arumanto
Editing by Eliswan Azly

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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