Manokwari, W Papua (ANTARA News) - The Central government has asked the regional administration of West Papua to accelerate preparation for the project to build rail track in the province.
"Instruction from Jakarta is on land clearing where the main tracks would be built," head of the land transport office of West Papua Harold Jan Umpain said here on Wednesday.
Harold said the main track will pass through the city of Sorong, Sorong District, South Sorong, Maybrat, Teluk Bintuni, South Manokwari and Manokwari.
"The main track would extend between the city of Sorong and the city of Manokwari," he said.
He said groundbreaking for the project is expected to be inaugurated by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) himself next year.
Originally the president hoped to break the ground to mark the start of work to build the railway in July 2016 in Sorong, but was delayed on problem in land clearing.
"Land is available and the Sorong city administration has approved, but protracted bickering in land price delayed decision," he said.
While waiting for the agreement in land price negotiations between the city administration and the land owners, the railway directorate general and consultants are working on details of engineering design (DED) of the whole tracks.
"DED on the main track is in final phase. The regional administrations especially the Sorong city, Sorong District, South Sorong, Maybrat, Teluk Bintuni, South Manokwari and Manokwari city administrations are asked to prepare land and deal with land clearing," Harold said.
The Central Jakarta is waiting for report from the Sorong city administration about progress made in land clearing and groundbreaking plan, he added.
Other alternative would be taken if Sorong is not yet ready, he said.
"Groundbreaking ceremony would be held in the regency of Sorong. We have not discussed that possibility with the Sorong district administration as we still wait for word from the city of Sorong," he said. (*)