Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi reiterated the government's determination to continue overseeing the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway (KCJB) project to its completion.

"Mr Luhut (Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan), Mr Erick (Minister of State-owned Enterprises Erick Thohir) and I have been tasked by Mr President to oversee this project. We expect the railway system will elevate our nation's competitiveness," Sumadi stated while monitoring the project in Tegalluar Station, Bandung District, West Java, Saturday.

Sumadi said in a statement obtained here on Sunday, the high-speed railway project progress has reached 86 per cent completion, and railway operators PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) and PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) targeted the development complete by June 2023 and operational on July 2023.

The ongoing progress in the project includes track laying and the electric system works, as well as the development of public access and public transport integration.

The minister emphasised the urgency of the public transportation project to address various issues, including the traffic congestion issue.

"We understand that the cost incurred from the traffic congestion reaches trillions (of rupiahs). Hence, President Jokowi challenged us to develop MRT, LRT, high-speed railway, and other public transportation systems expected to reduce our losses from traffic congestion," Sumadi noted.

Indonesia is keen to become the first Southeast Asian country to have a high-speed railway network, he added.

Meanwhile, he said that the KCJB system, developed with high technology, could help increase the capacity and capability of national railway human resources.

"The development of MRT, LRT and high-technology high-speed railway systems can be the laboratory for our people to study. European nations, Japan, and other countries are accustomed to developing (those systems), hence, we must develop breakthroughs to allow us to have a new experience to develop better public transport systems in the future," Sumadi expounded.

The minister also noted that the government has collaborated with two British consultants, The Crossrail International and Mott Macdonald Indonesia, to prepare the high-speed railway operation.

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Translator: Benardy F, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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