Padang: The Transportation Ministry plans to reactivate the Naras-Sungai Limau rail line connecting Pariaman City and Padang Pariaman District in West Sumatra.
"Reactivation of the rail line has been included in our strategic plan. We will commence the reactivation process by first preparing the rail track," Secretary of the ministry's Directorate General of Railways, Zulmafendi, stated in Padang on Monday.
After thorough research conducted by stakeholders, the directorate general decided to implement a multi-year contract scheme for the 2020-2022 period, with the budget sourced from State Islamic Bonds to go ahead with the reactivation plan, he revealed.
The directorate general expects the line reactivation to boost the residents' connectivity and economic activities, as the rail track could facilitate the movement of cargo and local commodities, such as crude palm oil, according to the secretary.
"The rail track is intact, and what we need to do right now is to prepare the track for use," Zulmafendi stated.
Apart from reactivating the Naras-Sungai Limau rail line, the authority plans to improve rail facilities at other active rail lines in West Sumatra, the secretary confirmed.
The authority plans to improve the condition of rail tracks at Padang-Bukit Putus-Pauh Limo Padang line, enhance security facilities at Padang-Pariaman and Simpang Haru-Pulau Air lines, and normalize the Sawahlunto rail line for tourism purposes, he noted.
Meanwhile, West Sumatra Deputy Governor Audy Joinaldy lauded the planned reactivation of the Naras-Sungai Limau rail line that is expected to boost the regional economy.
"The reactivated rail line would be integrated with the operating public transportation systems in West Sumatra, and this would certainly benefit our residents," Joinaldy stated.
The deputy governor confirmed that the regional authority would disseminate information to the public on railway safety and conceive programs to promote railway usage among West Sumatra's residents.
"We will enhance public awareness on the rail line, particularly railway safety, and promote the railways by collaborating with relevant stakeholders," Joinaldy remarked.