Is building 1900 km of toll roads in 7 years an
achievement?

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Achmad Nur Hidayat MPP
Achmad Nur Hidayat MPP, Public Policy Expert and Chair of the Center for Political Economy Studies at UPN Veteran Jakarta.

Jakarta, IO – On April 14, 2022, President Jokowi twitted, “For 40 years, Indonesia has only been able to build 780 km of toll roads. Starting in 2014, the government has completed Trans-Java, Trans-Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi toll road construction. How long is the constructed toll road network we have built within the last seven years? 1,900km.” 

I consider this misleading. What good are 1,900km toll roads when the people are still suffering? There is less benefit in toll roads, compared to what should have been done for the general citizenry. Will those toll roads lower the price of the basic staples? Apparently not. Constructing toll roads does not necessarily improve the welfare of the people. 

Next, the question is, “Should constructing an toll road network be considered an achievement? While it is funded by debt, up to approximately IDR 5,000 trillion? Whoever the president is, building any infrastructure on debt is doable, though it will be borne by the tax-paying citizen for years to come in the end.