China Aims Makassar-Manado Railway Project

Railway companies from China, Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co. Ltd. exploring rail construction project to train in Sulawesi. Tangshan is ready to bear 80 percent of the budget for infrastructure development.

Vice General Manager, Tangshan Railway Vehicle, Zheng Dawei, in the explanation of the planned railway projects, said infrastructure development includes railways and stations, including the procurement of locomotives and railway carriages.

"About 80 percent of the budget will be our responsibility and the remaining 20 percent of local government. This is proof of our seriousness," said Zheng Dawei during exposure in the presence of the Mayor of Makassar, Ilham Arief Siraj in Road Town Hall, Makassar, Wednesday, September 29, 2010.

For the construction phase, he explained, the mega project will be devoted to the interests of transportation in Sulawesi. If it goes smoothly, the project work planned to take place in three stages.

The first stage of 700 kilometers with a route from the City of Makassar, Maros, Pangkep, Barru, Pare Pare, Sidrap, Luwu, Malili until Sorowako.

The second phase along the 400 kilometers starting from Pare Pare, Pinrang, Polman, Majene, Mamuju to North Mamuju (West Sulawesi). While the third phase along the 900 kilometers, starting from North Mamuju, Palu (Central Sulawesi), Gorontalo, to Manado (North Sulawesi).

"We've calculated the distance is nearly 2,000 kilometers and could be finalized no later than 10 years," he said.

Related to the required size of the budget in building speed train 380 miles per hour, Zheng Dawei declined to elaborate. However, he promises to seriously do that if between Indonesia and China agreed to work together.

He pointed out that the project has been done in some countries, like Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and Ghana.

Responding to the offer, the Mayor of Makassar, Ilham Arief Siraj, responding to interest the Chinese government. According to him, Makassar on Sulawesi Island in particular and generally are in desperate need of rail transport.

"Makassar City Government is ready to support in the availability of channels and land acquisition. This is very important and urgent, given already to the metropolitan city of Makassar," Ilham said.

He is optimistic, the construction of the rail network will be able to help the community, particularly for economic growth in Makassar and Sulawesi. Later, the more people who come to Makassar.

In addition, the prospect of transporting containers between the ports of the region towards Makassar will be very economical, both in the time and cost.

"With the presence of this train, Makassar, Pare Pare route can be taken in half or an hour. This can save the cost of shipping goods and people," said Ilham. Indonesia Today

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