The government said it would make the grave of Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, the nation’s fourth president, into a destination for tourists in Jombang, East Java, within the next three years.
Coordinating Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono said Tuesday that the government and the East Java provincial administration, would allocate Rp 180 billion (US$20.16 million) for infrastructure to accommodate the more than 100 buses and 2,000 pilgrims who currently visit Gus Dur’s burial site every day.
“We need to build more roads, parking lots and spots for food stalls to avoid damage to the burial complex, as is likely to occur if we don’t do anything,” Agung said.
East Java Deputy Governor Syaifullah Yusuf said that on weekends, the burial complex was a scene of complete chaos, as hundreds of cars and more than 8,000 pilgrims created total gridlock.
Agung said that the provincial government would educate residents about the importance of maintaining the former president’s grave. “The government, however, is not planning to renovate the burial site itself. We just want to improve the facilities and infrastructure,” Agung added.
The Wahid family currently maintains the site