Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Trans-Sulawesi railway line in mid-February, an official said.

The first phase of the railway construction will stretch from Makassar city to Parepare city in South Sulawesi province, head of the South Sulawesi provincial transportation, communication and information office, Masykur Sultan, said here on Friday.

The groundbreaking ceremony is to be held in Barru district and the provincial government will coordinate with the district government to make preparations for the ceremony, he said.

"The groundbreaking ceremony will likely take place near Garongkong port, since all facilities have been prepared there," he added.

Masykur said the provincial transportation office and the Barru district government had cleared land near the port to make way for the construction of the railway tracks.

But he declined to reveal how much land had been cleared for the mega project.

"The most important thing is that we are now ready for the groundbreaking. A team of officials has been working to settle the land clearance so there will be no problem after the groundbreaking ceremony," he said.

Masykur added that the team in charge of handling the land clearance and preparing the groundbreaking ceremony had also been working to evaluate areas where the railway line would be built.

Earlier, Transportation Minister EE Mangindaan said the government would soon begin construction of the Trans-Sulawesi railway tracks.

"I have talked with the governor. He said the land is ready and the groundbreaking will be held in Barru district," he said at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport here recently.

The Trans-Sulawesi railway is a project to be built under a public private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Reporting by Muh Hasanuddin

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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