Papua Development to be Accelerated: President Jokowi

JAYAPURA CITY - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said during a visit to Papua here on Saturday that he hopes to speed development in the eastern province.

"We hope all development projects in Papua are accelerated," he said after distributing Indonesia Health Cards, Indonesia Smart Cards and Family Welfare Cards.

"I have toured several locations in Jayapura and tomorrow I will go to Merauke and then to Manokwari and Biak. As I have said, I will visit Papua at least three times a year," he added.

This was the President's second visit since assuming office. He made the first visit to Papua in December, 2014.

He added that he would not only visit Papua, but would also assure that his visits have an impact on development in the region.

"I will always bring something, whether it is for road, bridge, port or cable network development. Perhaps it (development) will not be in Sorong, Jayapura or Manokwari, but other districts or cities," he said.

President Joko Widodo, meanwhile, said the development of the Trans-Papua road network must be finished by 2019.

"With regard to Trans-Papua, which is 3,985 kilometers long, we will tackle locations whose access has not yet been opened and, we hope, at the latest by 2019, all of them have been connected. We must work day and night because there are a lot of locations that have not yet been connected," he said.

He noted that he would give special attention to those locations where access has not been opened.

Further, the director general of road development of the ministry of public works, Hediyanto, said his office planned to finish road development in Papua within five years, starting from Sorong, Manokwari, Nabire, Wamena, and Jayapura to Merauke.

"Road development in some sections will be accelerated, such as from Wagete in Timiki, which has 22 km left, and then from Wamena to Kenyam which has 17 kilometer left. They are expected to be finished by 2016," Hediyanto said.

"In 2017 we will finish Wamena and Jayapura, which is 88 kilometer long and has not yet been done," he said.

Hediyanto added that the road between Oksibil and Merauke, which is some 60 kilometer long, will also be finished by 2017, and the Long Pon-Dekai-Genyem by 2019, to connect all regions in Papua.

"By 2019 they will all have been connected," he assured. [Antara]
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