Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi is visiting Bali to inspect progress on a plan to build a light rail transit (LRT) project in the tourist destination region.

"Nowadays, the region experiences chronic traffic jams, which could harm Bali's reputation as an international tourism destination if we do not handle this problem," he stated in Kuta, Bali, on Sunday.

Sumadi said that the Bali government would be the majority shareholder in this LRT project (51 percent), while the central government would have a 49 percent stake.

"The Bali Governor and Badung District Head are willing to fund the capital expenditure for this project," he said.

Sumadi said that some options for funding schemes can be implemented, including a public-private partnership. Previously, South Korea has conveyed its interest to support the LRT project in Bali.

He expressed hope that the LRT project can start immediately after intensive coordination with all stakeholders.

Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra, said that Bali desperately needs a modern mass transportation to reduce the congestion.

"At certain hours, the traffic is really crowded, especially from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport to Kuta or Canggu," he remarked.

He expressed gratitude for the central government's commitment to help improve the tourism sector in Bali.

During his visit, Sumadi reviewed Kuta Central Park, one of the places to be passed by the LRT phase I construction connecting I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and Seminyak, a beach resort area in Bali.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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