In 2013, the government issued Presidential Regulation No. 40/2013 regarding development plan on National Strategic Road for Development Acceleration of Papua and West Papua Provinces (P4B). The regulation has been issued since 3 years ago, and has already been carried out since 2015. It’s planned to be completed in 2018. The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housings (PUPR) already allocated funds in the amount of 3,8 trilion IDR to develop Trans Papua Road. However, connecting roads is not an easy matter. These 3 points are the main challenges in the Trans Papua development.
The main problem in the construction of Trans Papua is the condition of Papua’s natural conditions that is mountainous with a lot of jungles. Oftentimes, the constructors have to face steep hills that are problematic to build roads. Without extra planning and efforts, it would be dangerous for road users. Hence, the road developments need to be handled differently and more complex.
One of the geographical challenges is the Trans Papua route that’s supposedly crossing Lorentz National Park. It is prohibited under the law to do any construction in conservation areas.
According to Ministry of PUPR, at the end of 2015, there are still 658 km of road that is not yet connected because it’s covered with jungles. In relation with funding, Expert Staff of Ministry of PUPR, Department of Integrated Development, Danis Sumadilaga, assumed that it would need 10 billion IDR to connect per-1 km of road.
Director General of Bina Marga, Ministry of PUPR, Hediyanto W. Husaini also confirmed the difficulties of road construction in mountainous areas.
“When we need to use excavator, we need to dissemble it, then transported it with a helicopter, and then we have to assemble it at the project location. Hence, it is more complex in terms of equipment mobilization, and fuel mobilization. Everything is more expensive. Trans Papua’s problem is the isolated location, and the minimum facilities,” said Hediyanto in Medan, Tuesday night (1/3/2016).
Big projects such as Trans Papua would definitely attract corruptors. One of them is the ex-Head of Public Housings Bureau of West Papua, Efendi Siagian who has cost the country, around 400 million IDR in estimation.
Several areas that Trans Papua will cross are areas high in conflicts. Up to now, there are several criminalities that occurred to Trans Papua workers. Whether shootings, kidnappings and also destruction of heavy machineries.
Hediyanto W Husaini, Director General of Bina Marga, Ministry of PUPR told the story when, several times, the workers were kidnapped and the government were asked a high ransom. In one kidnapping case which involved 4-5 workers, the ransom could reach 1 billion IDR.