President sets two-year deadline for toll road project completion

Ngawi, E Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo has set a two-year deadline for the completion of the Solo-Ngawi-Kertosono toll road project linking Central and East Java provinces.

"I give a two-year deadline (to developers) for the completion of these two sections of the toll road project," Jokowi, as the president is popularly called, said while inaugurating the groundbreaking ceremony of the Solo-Ngawi and Ngawi-Kertosono toll road sections here on Thursday.

The president was accompanied by Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, East Java Governor Soekarwo, and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.

On the occasion, the President also invited private companies interested in building the project. "If any private company is interested, please come forward. A target must be set if work is to be successfully completed," he noted.

The president expressed his gratitude for the acceleration of the commencement of the Solo-Ngawi toll road development.

"I say that if private companies can develop this project, we will be pleased to let them do it. If they cannot, the project can be done by state-owned companies. If they too cannot do it, then the project will be done by the Public Works," Jokowi remarked.

Citing that the Ngawi-Solo toll road projects should have started three years ago, he stressed that it is important that the project work should start soon.

Earlier, Jokowi also inaugurated the groundbreaking of a number of sections of the Trans-Sumatra toll roads that stretch from Aceh in the western tip of Sumatra to Lampung in the eastern part of the island.

"The groundbreaking ceremony for a stretch of 258 kilometers has been performed. The people of Sumatra have been waiting for this for 20 years. God Willing, the groundbreaking of other sections in Aceh will be inaugurated next year. This is a heavy job as the Trans-Sumatra toll roads will be 2,048 kilometers long and will connect Aceh with Lampung.(*)