Thu, 05 Oct 2000

Pulogebang bus terminal project to begin soon

JAKARTA (JP): Following the financial problems which have beset the appointed contractor, the city administration has decided to take over the planned construction of a new bus terminal in the Pulogebang area of East Jakarta to replace the current overcrowded Pulogadung terminal.

If everything goes well, the construction of the 10-hectare terminal, designed to serve Jakarta commuters and intercity passengers, will start sometime later this year and be completed within three years.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Deputy Governor for Development Affairs Budihardjo Soekmadi said the city administration "is still calculating the budget for the construction of the terminal".

He, however, stressed that the project is quite urgent since the capital badly needs a new, comfortable intercity bus terminal as soon as possible.

"The project was previously being handled by private contractor PT. Rodiol Eron, but since 1997 the company has been claiming that they can no longer afford to finance the project.

So, we have to consider the possibility of taking it over and building the terminal from our own resources," Budihardjo stated.

He said the city firstly needed some Rp 500 billion (US$57.5 million) to purchase the required land at the planned site in Pulogebang.

"However, we have to assess our financial capabilities first. But, since there have been no other private developers willing to take on the project, the city is under pressure to develop the project on its own," Budihardjo said.

"A decision has become very urgent as we can see that the present Pulogadung terminal is very chaotic, and we need to improve facilities for the general public," he added.

Head of the City Land Transportation Agency (DLLAJ) Buyung Atang said PT Rodiol Eron initially agreed in 1987 to build the new terminal under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) arrangement with the city administration.

According to Buyung, the company had yet to sign any agreement with the city, but it had decided to buy some land at the site before completely stopping its land procurement in 1997.

"The current land price in the area is Rp 35,000 per square meter and we only need some seven hectares of land for the planned terminal, the site for which in the Cakung-Cilincing is currently standing vacant," he said.

Located about 5.5 kilometers from the planned site for the new terminal, the existing Pulogadung terminal stands on 3.3 hectares and is divided into three sections, respectively for intercity buses, city buses and a center for road vehicle tests.

Thousands of buses use the terminal every day. The terminal's throughput usually reaches its peak on major holidays, such as Idul Fitri.

"The idea to build a new, more convenient terminal has been floated since 1981," Buyung explained.

Buyung said the City Development Planning Board will be assigned to calculate the budget required for the project and decide what to do with the present Pulogadung terminal.

"Maybe we can use the land as an industrial or trade zone, but that will be up to the board," he said. (dja)