Bandung/Jakarta. Bandung's city administration has said work will start soon on the city's first light rail transit (LRT) network, which will be called the "Metro Kapsul." The administration claimed the network will be considerably cheaper to build than similar ones in Jakarta and Palembang.
To cut costs, the contractor will use locally made materials and employ local talents to do most of the work, everything from research to test and eventually running the system.
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil said the project will not use any money from the state budget, but will be 100 percent privately funded.
"It will be 100-percent funded by PP [state-owned construction company Pembangunan Perumahan]. It will not use moeny from the APBD [regional budget] or APBN [state budget]," Ridwan said at the project's launch in Bandung on Monday (12/02).
The mayor did not say when actual construction on the project will start as the city administration is still waiting for the building license (IMB) for the track to be approved.
"[Theoretically] we can start doing the foundation [without the IMB]," Ridwan said.
Ridwan claimed 98 percent of the Metro Kapsul network will be made of locally made materials. The rest, including its digital technology, will come from Slovenia.
Construction will start from the network's Corridor 3, an 8.3-kilometer track which will loop from the city center through the city's busiest and most densely populated areas.
"Metro Kapsul will be three times cheaper than the Jakarta LRT or Palembang LRT. Corridor 3 will only cost Rp 1.4 trillion [$98 million] to build, or Rp 150 billion per kilometer," Ridwan said as reported by local newspaper Pikiran Rakyat.
According to information uploaded on the website of the Committee for Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure (KPPIP), the 23 km-long Palembang LRT will cost a total of Rp 12.5 trillion, or Rp 520 billion per kilometer.
PP has signed a build, operate, transfer (BOT) contract with the Bandung administration. The company will retain the rights to operate the network for 30 years.
According to Ridwan, it may take up to one and a half years to complete construction on Corridor 3.
"So, maybe, the next mayor of Bandung will have to open it," he said.
Ridwan's tenure as Bandung mayor will officially end in September. The 46-year-old has declared he will run for the governorship of West Java in June's simultaneous regional elections.
He said the Metro Kapsul project is proof that Indonesia is not short of great engineering talents.
"The network's technology is designed by local engineers in Gedebage and Setrasari in Bandung, then tested in Subang and will be run for the first time in this city," Ridwan said.
Writing by Amal Ganesha