By: Saby Kossay) *
Papua is the easternmost region in Indonesia. Even though it is at the end, the government is also aggressively developing Papua. Among other things, by building the long Hamadi-Holtekam bridge and the trans Papua road. The construction there is carried out in stages and the plan is to be intensified until 2024.
Indonesia consists of 34 provinces and Papua is the largest province. But unfortunately since Indonesia’s independence, there has been a gap between economic life in Papua and other islands such as Java and Sumatra. To overcome this, the government is aggressively developing Papua in terms of infrastructure. It is hoped that these projects can advance Papua.
There are many projects launched by President Joko Widodo. Among them are the Trans Papua road project that connects Papua and West Papua, and is 4,330.07 kilometers long. There is also a beautiful red bridge called Hamadi-Holketam which connects the capital city of Papua, Jayapura and Skouw, which is also a tourist destination.
Another project being undertaken in Papua is the construction of Sentani Airport, which is located about 40 kilometers from Jayapura. Later, this airport will be the largest in Papua and has the status of an international airport. There is also the development of electricity infrastructure in Papua and West Papua by constructing hydroelectric power plants and high-voltage overhead lines.
Papua has always been a concern of President Joko Widodo. In fact, he visited there more than 13 times. This was stated by the Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartanto. The President wants all regions to develop infrastructure evenly. So Papua is an area of concern, because there are still many areas that have not been touched by modernity.
It is hoped that the infrastructure development that was initiated by President Joko Widodo can advance the economy in Papua. If there is a new bridge, the traffic will be smoother and the delivery of onions between cities will be faster. So it saves time and costs. Likewise with the Sentani international airport. The surrounding area will be more advanced.
Apart from infrastructure development, there are other programs to promote Papua, namely one price fuel. In the past, the price of gasoline and diesel in this region was very high, even reaching 100,000 -150,000 rupiah per liter, if purchased in the mountainous region of Papua. Whereas in Java the price is less than 20,000 rupiah. This is because the fuel distribution costs are also high.
However, now the fuel price in both the mountains and the plains of Papua has been suppressed so that the price of gasoline is only 6,450 rupiah per liter. According to Edi, Unit Manager for Communication & CSR Marketing Operation Region VII, the government, through state-owned oil companies, has the responsibility to equalize fuel prices throughout the country.
All projects and programs launched by the government to advance Papua are of course very profitable, because there are no more social and economic gaps between the eastern and western regions of Indonesia. The government of President Joko Widodo has also practiced the five principles of Pancasila, namely social justice for all Indonesian people.
If Papua is more advanced, the government will also benefit, because it will attract investors to help development there. It is not impossible if in Papua there will be skyscrapers and tourist areas like in Java. Automatically the people’s economy will advance, because the project absorbs a lot of workers.
Infrastructure development in Papua can advance the region, so that there is an even distribution of progress throughout Indonesia. Papua can be a very modern area and is visited by many foreign tourists, because it has natural beauty as well as supporting infrastructure. This can increase the country’s foreign exchange.
) * The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta