Zandro Octavio

Jakarta Monorail toBe Cancelled

Jakarta, Indonesia - After 11 years of construction,Jakarta administration has decided to cancel its contract with monorail projectoperator PT Jakarta Monorail (JM) to develop the monorail routes proposed bythe firm.

Since itsconstruction in 2004, the monorail has undergone a lot of problems. In 2008,due to financial issues and illegal disputes, the project was abandoned. Theconstruction resumed in October 2013, with JM as contractor. However, itsconstruction has not progressed following disagreements between the city andthe company. Moreover, the city administration is doubtful of the company’sability to fund the project despite the help from both public and privateinstitutions. Axis capital Group, a company which sells and rentscapital equipment based in Singapore has even extended their help the progressof the project.

This 2015, anotherhalt is being pushed through by the company. Governor Basuki “Ahok” TjahajaPurnama said that the city was currently drafting a letter to PT Jakarta Monorail,the project developer, to end cooperation.

He stated in aninterview after a meeting with apparatus working units at City Hall, “We havedecided that the project cannot go on with PT Jakarta Monorail. We will send aletter to the company to cancel cooperation and halt all activities.”

Ahok went on thatthe route JM proposed to build was not feasible. JM had planned to constructthe first route, the green line, extending 14.3 kilometers from the city policeheadquarters (Komdak) to Satria Mandala Museum, both in South Jakarta,including 16 stations.

The stations anddepot were to be built in Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta and Setiabudi in SouthJakarta, among other places. Ahok said that the station in Tanah Abang wouldincrease traffic congestion in the area as it would be built on existing roads.Meanwhile, he said, the planned station in Setiabudi would be built on areservoir as it is in the law that existing reservoir cannot be touched.

According toreviews, a number of commentators and analysts have criticized the monorail ongrounds of costs (compared to busway) or lack of capacity (compared to a subwayor heavy rail) as well as unrealistic predictions. Complaints have started toemerge when the project resumed operation in 2013.

The project wasfurther criticized in February 2013 by Bambang Susantono, the deputy minister oftransportation, on the grounds that it was not sustainable in the lon