"Infrastructure development is a prerequisite to enhance our competitiveness. Developing a high-speed railway system will be beneficial for the people's economy and prosperity," Abdullah stated in Jakarta on Thursday.
The high-speed railway system's integration with the Jakarta MRT, LRT, and other transportation modes upon its completion would enhance regional connectivity, he remarked.
The railway project will additionally be a matter of pride for the nation, as Indonesia is the first Southeast Asian country, with a high-speed railway system, which is attractive for foreign investors to invest in Indonesia, the expert noted.
"Benefits of infrastructure projects promoted by the government will be felt by society after the project's completion and long-term operation," Abdullah remarked.
Related news: Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway reaches 79% completion
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Indonesia Transportation Society Harya Setyaka Dillon reiterated the importance of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway as a crucial part of Indonesia's public transportation development that can serve as an alternative to toll roads, thereby reducing traffic congestion.
The economic advantages of the high-speed railway might not be felt in the initial five years of the railway's operations, as the benefits would instead be enjoyed in the long-term, at least 10-30 years, since the railway became operational, according to Dillon.
"It is not different than toll roads, airports, and ports that began to be profitable 15 years after becoming operational," Dillon noted.
The high-speed railway operator PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China (KCIC) also confirmed that the work to construct the railway system was 79-percent complete and efforts will be made to complete and operationalize it by the end of 2022.
The company strives to expedite construction of the system's 237 points despite the COVID-19 pandemic significantly hindering the progress, with priority placed on completing three of the total 13 tunnels in the railway's route.
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