Simultaneous infrastructure development and its anomaly in Indonesia

The workers at Kelapa Gading LRT (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO – Since his first-year of presidency in 2014, Joko Widodo’s governance are continuously growing and focusing on infrastructure development. Infrastructure development is important because it plays  a vital role in the country’s productivity and growth. Infrastructure development happens to provide working opportunities, create efficiency, and increase economic activity in certain areas, prior to the spirit of transforming Indonesia into a productive country, while at the same time increasing competitiveness among neighbouring countries.

Flyover MRT in Lebak bulus – Fatmawati. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

This is because Indonesia is still in the state of slow infrastructure development compared to the other countries. Of course, this underdevelopment condition leads into destabilization of some sectors and policies with the likes of industrial activity, trading, national logistics, and tourism policy, until the most terrible impact, stagnation of national economic growth. For this very reason, Joko Widodo’s government immediately switched to the infrastructure development activities as its main priority.

However, infrastructure development progress which deployed all at once often becomes another obstacle for the government itself. High congestion on the road, decreased water absorption surfaces which causes floods, and some citizens are also questioning the source of where the enormous funding comes from. Like it or not, this is the fact of what happened in the previous years. Moreover, the achievements of infrastructure development during three years of Joko Widodo’s presidency has not reached half its target. Of the approximately 225 priority projects, only about 5% of the infrastructure is ready to be used.

It is not easy to manage the infrastructure development simultaneously. Some problems often occur on and off the field. Issues of land acquisition, inadequate and protracted planning, funding constraints, to the licensing issues are some clear evidence of the obstacles in organizing these government’s mega projects.

Infrastructure does play an important role in the development and growth of the national economy. Pursuing the lack of infrastructure development, which our government is doing right now, should be greatly appreciated. However, simultaneous development progress must measure economic sustainability without expelling the long-term effects in order not to give excessive burden for our future generations.