Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Radjasa here on Thursday said the government has allocated Rp2 Trillion from the State Budget to finance an early stage of Trans Sumatra toll road construction that will connect all provinces in Sumatra island.
"The government decides to accelerate the construction of Trans Sumatra toll road which is expected to start this September. The 2,700 kilometers-long road will connect provinces starting from Aceh (province in the northern tip of Sumatra island) to Lampung (province in southern tip of Sumatra island)," said the minister.
He added state-owned contractor PT Hutama Kaya will be in charge to build the whole construction of the toll road.
Meanwhile Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto said a feasibility study has been conducted earlier. The government decided to divide the construction project into 23 segment where four out of the 23 will be built this September. Among the segments are those relating Medan city to Binjai area, Pekanbaru city to Dumai city, Indralaya to Palembang city and Bakauheni to Terbanggi.
Construction of the Trans Sumatra Toll Road extending between the northern and southern tips of the island is estimated to cost Rp300 trillion.
The 2,000 km toll road will not use existing roads and will not need relocation of houses, a director at the public works ministry Subagyo said.
The cost will be cheaper as it would use lands belonging to state plantations and unused lands, Subagyo said.
"Plantation companies would be more than eager to offer a small part of their land for the project as it would greatly facilitate the transport of their commodities," he said.
In Java, implementation of toll roads are often delayed and costly because of difficulty in land clearing.
"We have submitted proposal for the toll road construction program using mainly unoccupied lands," he said.
The long term program to be completed in 2025 will boost economic development in Sumatra, he said.