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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     17 October  2011

Jakarta goes elevated

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The Jakarta city administration’s plan to build six new toll roads is expected to increase the total amount of road space as a proportion of the city’s area into double digits for the first time, officials said over the weekend.

Sarwo Handayani, head of the Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda), said that the elevated motorways, running a combined 67.9 kilometers and expected to cost Rp 40 trillion ($4.5 billion), would take the total road space from the current 7.2 percent of Jakarta’s overall area of 650 square kilometers, to 10 percent.

“The construction of these six toll roads is part of the wider plan to reduce congestion in Jakarta,” she said.

“It’s impossible for us to build more roads at ground level because this requires appropriating land, which is both difficult to find and time-consuming to free up. That’s why the new toll network will be fully elevated.”

The project was first announced by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in June this year. Handayani said that with the City Council’s passage of the 2011-2030 Spatial Master Plan in August, there was finally solid legal standing for the administration to begin putting out the project to a tender.

She added her office was working with the Public Works Ministry on preparing the pre-qualification tender for the construction phase.

“It’s almost ready to go to tender, which means that construction can start soon,” she said, but declined to give a timeline for the tender or construction.

The Jakarta administration has already put together its own consortium to take part in the tender, comprising city-owned contractors Jakarta Propertindo and Pembangunan Jaya. The consortium is called the Jakarta Toll Road Development.

The toll network is being developed to support the TransJakarta busway network by overlapping with existing busway corridors, although it will not have dedicated busway lanes.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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