Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In addition to buses, airplanes, trains and private cars, home-bound Idul Fitri travelers also use warships to celebrate the day with relatives or old friends in their hometowns or villages.

To help transport the home-bound travelers from Jakarta to different destinations in Indonesia, the Navy (TNI AL) had prepared five warships for the purpose, including the KRI Banjarmasin and KRI Tanjung Nusanive.

But until Monday (Aug.29), only two of the five warships were actually carrying home-bound travelers, namely the KRI Banjarmasin and KRI Tanjung Nusanive.

"Three other warships are still being made ready at Tanjung Priok port," the logistics staff member of the Indonesian Navy Headquarters Col. Ibrahim said here on Sunday.

The KRI Banjarmasin, a warship of a landing platform dock type with a capacity of carrying 1,000 motorcycles and 2,000 passengers,

left Jakarta`s Tanjung Priok port for Tanjung Emas port in Semarang, Central Java, on August 27.

Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi when inspecting the passengers inside the warship here on Saturday said, "It is for the first time ever, we provide free transportation for home-bound travelers together with their motorcycles."

"By providing free sea transportation for home-bound motorcyclists, the number of traffic accidents involving motorcycles could hopefully be reduced," he said.

It takes less than 24 hours for the warship to reach Tanjung Emas port in Semarang, Central Java from Jakarta`s Tanjung Priok port.

The minister asked the holiday makers who wanted to make a trip from Jakarta to Semarang to take advantage of the free service provided by the Navy.

Around 700 home-bound travelers aboard the KRI Banjarmasin arrived at Tanjung Emas port in Semarang on Sunday from Tanjung Priok port the day before.

The ship was greeted by administrator of Tanjung Emas port Karolus Sangadji, commander of the Semarang naval base Col. Moelyanto and commander of waters police directorate at the Central Java provincial police Snr. Comr. Sutrisna upon arrival at the port.

The commander of the warship, Lt. Col. Eko Jokowiyono said the ship with 130 crew members carried 700 home-bound travelers along with their 300 motorcycles free of charge.

"This is a form of cooperation between the Transportation Ministry and the Indonesian Navy in providing transportation for Idul Fitri holiday makers," he said.

"We also provided free meals to all homeward travelers during the trip," he pointed out.

Administrator of the Tanjung Emas Port Karolus Sengadji said the warship would also carry residents who would return to Jakarta after they celebrated the Idul Fitri festivities at their home towns.

"The ship will leave Semarang for Jakarta on Saturday (Sept 3) or three days after the festivities at around 11.00 a.m," he said.

In addition, head of the West Sumatra provincial communication office in Jakarta, Nadiar said that at least 1,000 Minangkabau (West Sumatra) people used KRI Tanjung Nusanive to reach Teluk Bayur port in Padang on Friday (Aug.26) and expected to arrive there on Sunday (Aug.28) for the festivity.

The homeward traveling was conducted in cooperation between the KRI Tanjung Nusanive with the Jakarta`s Minangkabau people organization called "Canduang Koto Laweh (IKCK) Family ties".

In its way back to Jakarta, the KRI Tanjung Nusanive will also carry the home-bound travelers a couple of days after the Lebaran.

Apart from that, Nadiar said the number of homeward travelers to West Sumatra was predicted to increase to 3,000 people.

The prediction was made based on the information obtained from the Jakarta-based 15 Minangkabau mass organizations, he said.

KRI Tanjung Nusanive carrying thousands of homeward travelers left Tanjung Priok port at 03.00 p.m. on Sunday to Teluk Bayur port in Padang, Nadiar said, adding that KRI Tanjung Nusanive was one of the passenger ships owned by TNI AL.

"This ship was formerly civil passenger ship owned by shipping company Pelni. The ship was called KM Kambuna. But after it was handed to TNI AL it changed into KRI Tanjung Nusanive," he said.

The German-made ship had a capacity of carrying about 2,000 passengers and 100 two-wheeled vehicles. Built in 1984 the ship had 130 bedrooms, ranging from VVIP to economic classes, he said.

In the meantime, West Sumatra governor Irwan Prayitno along with the Teluk Bayur-based main Naval (Lantamal-II)base commander Commodore Aswad and Padang mayor Fauzi Bahar greeted more than 1,000 homeward travelers who arrived at the Teluk Bayur port on Sunday at about 6.00 pm.

The governor also said "It is one of the government attention to provide ship for the homeward travelers", adding that the ticket price for the ship economic class is about Rp200,000 compared to more than Rp1,000,000 by airplane.

The Minangkabau homeward travelers organizer, M.Yunus said on its journey from Tanjung Priok harbour to Teluk Bayur port the ship did not encounter a storm, so it arrived at the destination port as scheduled safely.

The number of homeward travelers from Jakarta`s Muslims alone who reached their hometown by the warships in this year`s Idul Fitri festivity was part of some 7.129 million people.

Reporter: by Bustanuddin
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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