JAKARTA – Former Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Hatta Rajasa, spoke about the Sunda Strait Bridge which he considered capable of being the main supporter of the Trans Sumatra Toll Road.
Hatta Rajasa, who was the Coordinating Minister for the Economy for the 2009-2014 period, assessed that the Sunda Strait Bridge project was actually very important. There are many things that the Sunda Strait Bridge can support for the Trans Sumatra Toll Road (JTTS), which is currently being built by the government through PT Hutama Karya (Persero).
So what kinds of things are meant by Hatta Rajasa? Of course, the first thing he said was in terms of transportation, where the distance from Java to Sumatra was getting shorter.
And the second, said Hatta Rajasa, of course, is the impact on economic activities on the island of Sumatra which is certainly very useful for the surrounding community. The economy in Sumatra will also rise if all these projects can support each other.
“If the toll roads and feeders are built, the main economic activities in Sumatra, starting from oil and gas, palm oil, rubber, coal, shipping, steel, tourism, all will rise with the existence of toll roads and feeders leading to areas of investment concern”, said the father of Aliya Rajasa in the HK Academy webinar, Thursday, September 9.
That way, according to Hatta Rajasa, these things will contribute significantly to Indonesia’s GDP. Its value can reach thousands of trillions.
“The contribution to the increase in GDP reaches IDR 900 trillion to IDR 1,200 trillion with the assumption that there will be an increase in investment, both infrastructure and other investments in Sumatra’s 8 mainstay commodities. So with this connectivity there will be a very powerful multiplier effect. I just woke up, I’m still squirming, I can run with this toll road”, he explained.
Third, he continued, the regional government and the private sector or investors will build feeders to toll roads to explore regional potential. That way, logistics activities on the island of Sumatra will be smoother because logistics costs can be reduced.
Fourth, increasing tourist visits. And lastly, said Hatta Rajasa, new economic zones, and new, more modern residential centers will grow.
“This will be able to improve people’s welfare. However, this potential will be more optimal if the Sunda Strait Bridge is built”, concluded Hatta Rajasa.
For information, the Sunda Strait Bridge has been initiated in 1960 by Professor Sedyatmo from ITB. Until 1997, then-President Suharto, together with Vice President BJ Habibie, ordered a professor from ITB, Wiratman Wangsadinata, to research bridge technology to Europe.
Based on the study, 17 thousand tons of steel are needed and 50 thousand welding workers for IDR 100 trillion. But in the end the Sunda Strait Bridge project stalled due to the economic and political crisis.
Until then in 2004, conglomerate Tomy Winata, owner of the Artha Graha business group, took Wiratman. In 2007, TW together with the Governments of Banten and Lampung formed a consortium of PT Graha Banten Lampung Sejahtera whose majority shares were controlled by the Artha Graha group to continue the Sunda Strait Bridge project.
As time went on, until President Joko Widodo took office in 2014, the Sunda Strait Bridge project again stalled. The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs at the time, Sofyan Djalil, said that the government preferred to build other infrastructure, such as adding docks and improving the quality of ships, which could facilitate connectivity from Java to Sumatra, rather than building the Sunda Strait Bridge megaproject.
“From the beginning (JSS) this has been controversial. Without support from the government, the project would not be possible”, said Sofyan.
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