President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is scheduled to kick off construction of a toll road connecting Padang, the provincial capital of West Sumatra, and Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau, on Thurday, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono has said.
“Today, we have visited the [planned] location of the groundbreaking ceremony in Nagari Kasang [in Pariaman Regency, West Sumatra],” Basuki said during an inspection of the site as reported by Antara news agency.
However, he said he needed to talk to parties involved in the land acquisition process, such as land owners, traditional dleaders and wali nagari (village leaders), to confirm that they would cooperate.
After the government gets assurance from ralted parties, a process involving land measurement and appraisal would take place, he added.
Afterward, the central government would buy the land, which would be managed by state-owned construction company PT Hutama Karya, he said “We want to immediately disburse compensation funds for them [land owners],” he said.
The 250-kilometer toll road project is being launched to speed up travel between the two cities. Currently, it takes seven hours to travel from Padang to Pekanbaru. The President will head to Padang to attend National Press Day.