Jakarta (ANTARA News) - North Sumatra has enjoyed rapid infrastructure development over the last several years, thanks to the economic policy of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration to improve the mobility of the people and make Lake Toba in the province a world-class tourist destination.
Various infrastructure projects, such as constructions of airports, highway, toll roads, and seaports, have been underway to improve connectivity in North Sumatra.
On Oct 13, Jokowi inaugurated the Medan-Binjai and Kualanamu Airport-Sei Rampah toll road sections, spanning 52 kilometers, in Kualanamu, North Sumatra.
Jokowi, in the presence of State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Public Works and Housing Minister Basoeki Hadimoeljono, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung and North Sumatra Governor Erry Nuradi, pressed a siren to mark the inauguration of the two toll road sections and expressed hope that the operation of the two toll road sections would increase the mobility of people and goods.
He believed that if the mobility of goods increased and the transportation cost declined, then the cost of goods would be cheaper.
Owing to high prices of goods, Indonesia has lost to other countries that offer lower prices, thanks to their solid infrastructure, he noted.
He added that the construction of some toll road sections in North Sumatra has not been completed due to land clearance problems.
The toll road sections include the 3.3-kilometer Tanjung Mulia- Sei Semayang section and the 10.15-kilometer Sei Rampah-Tebing Tinggi section.
The president asked the North Sumatra provincial police and the public prosecutors office to assist the contractor in land acquisition for the toll road sections.
"We should make good approaches as the project does not serve the interest of one or two persons, but the people at large," he remarked.
Developmental works of infrastructure, such as toll roads, are in fact being carried out across Sumatra Island.
Prior to visiting North Sumatra, Jokowi inaugurated the 7.75-kilometer section I of Palembang-Indralaya toll road in South Sumatra province on Oct 12.
"I am very delighted that this toll road is the first of its kind in South Sumatra," he revealed at the Palembang-Pemulutan toll gate.
The 21-kilometer Pelembang-Indralaya toll road comprises of a 7.75-kilometer section I, connecting Palembang to Pemulutan; a 4.9-kilometer section II, connecting Pemulutan to Kota Terpadu Mandiri; and a 8.5-kilometer section III, connecting Kota Terpadu Mandiri to Simpang Indralaya.
Lake Toba Tourism
From Kualanamun, the Head of State proceeded to Huta Ginjang tourist resort in North Tapanuli, also in North Sumatra, to inspect the preparations to designate Silangit Airport as an international airport on Oct 28. The airport is expected to serve Silangit-Singapore flight as of Oct 28.
He also enjoyed the scenery of Lake Toba from Huta Ginjang village. Lake Toba, which is the largest volcanic lake on Earth, and Samosir Island, which is located in the middle of the huge lake, offer a complete tourism package, encompassing beautiful scenery, unique Batik culture and traditions, and intriguing history.
The lake has been designated as one of the 10 priority tourist destinations selected alongside the Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuhan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru in East Java, Seribu or One Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Morotai in North Maluku, and Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung.
Infrastructure also plays a significant role in the tourism industry of the Lake Toba region, and so do tourism products.
"Cultural art shows must also be started, and facilities related to hotel, resort, and convention hall must also be built. Otherwise, these infrastructures will be useless," Jokowi remarked.
The infrastructure includes the newly inaugurated toll road sections, namely the 42-kilometer Kualanamu-Sei Rampah section of the Medan-Kualanamu-Tebing Tinggi toll road and 10.46-kilometer Helvatia-Semayang-Binjai section of Medan-Binjai toll road.
Lake Toba tourist resort is managed by Lake Toba Tourist Resort Management Authority Board, which is led by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Ministry will provide a number of facilities, including a port and Ro-Ro ferry vessel to support the development of tourism industry in Lake Toba.
"We will prepare a Ro-Ro vessel capable of carrying 35 cars," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said, while inspecting the pier of Muara port in Lake Toba, Oct 14.
The availability of Ro-Ro vessel is important to develop Lake Toba as a main tourist destination, he added.
"In addition, we will build two ports in Samosir Island and three more in the outer parts of the island. They will be completed in 2018," he noted.
Samosir Island is located in Lake Toba. The 630-square kilometer island, which is slightly smaller than Singapore, is the worlds largest island within an island.
Source: ANTARA News