Jakarta (ANTARA) - “Many a little makes a mickle” is a proverb that can perhaps describe the Indonesian government’s efforts to develop infrastructure over the past few years.

“Little,” however, is not necessarily the most fitting word since the government has been building infrastructure on a massive scale across the country — from Sabang to Merauke.

Indonesia’s rapid and significant infrastructure development efforts have received praise from Kaushik Chakraborty, vice president and Asia-Pacific executive of Bentley Systems, an infrastructure engineering software company.

He extended his praise to Indonesia in an interview with ANTARA during the 2023 Year in Infrastructure and Going Digital Awards event in Singapore.

According to Chakraborty, Indonesia is a big country with a large population. The size of the population has been driving the government to continuously build the infrastructure required for serving the people, he added.

He opined that all infrastructures are beneficial since policy makers need to make comprehensive calculations before deciding on initiating the development of a particular infrastructure.

It is natural for there to be pros and cons in the development of infrastructure not only in Indonesia but also in almost every country on the planet, he said.

He then cited Whoosh, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train, project as an example. Despite clinching the 2022 Best Project award from Bentley Systems, the mass transportation mega project could not avoid unfavorable reviews from some parties.

As a professional in the field of infrastructure, Chakraborty said that such cynical views are not a new thing since it generally takes about five years for a project to reach its prime.

He expressed the belief that the Indonesian government would connect Southeast Asia’s first high-speed train to other infrastructure and transportation systems.

The Indonesian government’s plan to develop a high-speed train system connecting Jakarta to Surabaya, East Java, is a testament to its leaders’ commitment to advance the country’s economy through infrastructure development, Chakraborty said.

He made the statement based on the fact that both Jakarta and Surabaya constitute Indonesia’s economic centers.

People should instill in their minds the view that every infrastructure is developed for their sake, he said.

The experienced engineer then underscored the importance of developing what he calls “infrastructure for the people” -- infrastructures linked to water and electricity supply, transportation, and housing -- saying he believes that they are the foundation of a nation’s journey toward progress.

Meanwhile, Bentley Systems’ senior director for energy industry solutions, Marc Biagi, said he believes that the development of infrastructure will stimulate economic growth.

According to Biagi, the world is currently lacking engineers from various academic disciplines who are capable of keeping up with the latest trends of more sophisticated infrastructure development.

He noted that the on-time development of a durable and cost-efficient infrastructure requires the involvement of not only architects and civil engineering experts, but also talents that possess adequate knowledge of geotechnics, logistics, environment, software, communication, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Such collaboration between multidisciplinary talents could be seen in the Toll Road 3A construction project in Indonesia’s future capital, Nusantara, in East Kalimantan.

Greg Bentley, chief executive officer of Bentley Systems, said that his company has chosen state-run construction firm PT Hutama Karya as one of the recipients of the 2023 Founders’ Honors Award for its “Geotechnical Engineering to Support Sustainability in Nusantara City at IKN Toll Road 3A” project.

For constructing the toll road, Hutama Karya is using digital technology to determine the optimal design to reduce the risk of landslides, whose occurrence can significantly disrupt the power supply in Nusantara.

Furthermore, the application of insights from multidisciplinary workers is also reflected in the use of technology to observe the underground conditions at the site of the project.

The use of technology has eliminated the need for Hutama Karya to get additional land for filling in the project site measuring 1.5 million square meters and helped the company build anti-landslide embankments.

In addition to Hutama Karya, the Founders’ Honors award was also presented to PT Waskita Karya, another state-run construction firm, for a project called “Evolve to Digital Ecosystem for New Capital City of Indonesia.”

Upon taking a closer look, it will be possible to find other infrastructure projects in Indonesia that have received international awards.

Those achievements serve as proof of the government’s seriousness in working on infrastructure development projects aimed at elevating the living standards of the people and boosting the economy in the hopes of making Indonesia a developed country.

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Translator: Fianda S, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
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