Jakarta Rapid Transit Project ‘On Track’


mrtUlma Haryanto | Jakarta Globe

Dismissing allegations of corruption, the Transportation Ministry on Monday said it was confident that the first phase of the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit project would be completed as scheduled.

“The MRT will be operational by 2016. Everything is going according to procedure. If we wait too long, the construction will be further delayed. It should begin [at the] earliest by end of 2011,” ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told the Jakarta Globe.

“Jakarta’s traffic congestion will worsen. We need to begin construction as soon as possible,” he said.

Bambang dismissed allegations made by Indonesian Procurement Watch of collusion in selecting the designer of the MRT system. IPW last year pointed out that the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) had found preliminary evidence of collusion on the part of the ministry and bidders for the project to award the design contract to Japanese engineering firm Nippon Koei.

Bambang acknowledged that the procurement committee had nullified the results of a tender offer for the project, won by Japanese bidder Katahira & Engineers International. Nippon then won the second tender, he said.

“Katahira won the tender the first time around in December 2008. The Japan International Cooperation Agency asked us to redo the tender because of matters of pricing and because some queries on the tender process didn’t meet their requirements,” he said.

Bambang said IPW and Katahira had a right to object, “but from our side the tender re-evaluation was fully in accordance with the official procedure.”

Last week, Eddi Santosa, corporate and planning director of PT MRT Jakarta, the private company responsible for carrying out the construction project, said the financing from the JICA for the second phase would be received in 2011.

The first phase of the MRT project will serve 12 stations along a 14.5 kilometer route from Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to Dukuh Atas in Central Jakarta, just south of the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle. The first eight stations will be on 10.5-kilometers of elevated track, while the remaining four will be below ground.

Each train will have six cars and carry about 350,000 passengers daily. Fares will range from Rp 4,000 (43 cents) to Rp 10,000 for a one-way trip.

A second phase, to be operational by 2018, would extend the track north to Kota Tua, and another east-west line is planned.

“PT MRT Jakarta is currently preparing an environmental-impact analysis to be included in our feasibility report, which is required by the lending institution,” Eddi said on Monday.

Manpalagupta Sitorus, chief of corporate communication at MRT Jakarta, said the basic design for the first phase, begun in December, would be finished by February next year.

“After that we are going to initiate the tender process and physical construction can start as soon as the end of 2011 or early 2012,” Manpalagupta said.

As reported earlier by the Jakarta Globe, the JICA has agreed to provide $1.3 billion in loans, to be disbursed in four phases between 2008 and 2014.

The JICA loans carry only 0.2 percent interest, with a 10-year grace period for payments and a 30-year payback timetable.

“The central and Jakarta governments will share the burden of paying back the loans,” Eddi said earlier.

The agreement requires that 35 percent of construction materials be imported from Japan. The majority of consultants and 51 percent of the contractors also must be Japanese.

Aside from the loans, financing for the MRT system will also come from the central government and the Jakarta administration. The state will put up $260 million and the city will pitch in $162 million.