Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Government Gives Optimal Service to Holiday Travellers

The government has ramped up services for travellers during the 2013 Idul Fitri holiday season. 

Transportation agencies have learned from issues faced in previous years and have adopted measures to ease the passage of holidaymakers en route to their hometowns or villages.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono noted on his Twitter account @SBYudhoyono here on Tuesday that while the government is playing its part to ensure tight security and the availability of adequate services for holiday travellers, the public should play its part by following the traffic rules and regulations as they travel back home.

"All travellers using various modes of transport during this holiday season should obey the traffic laws, even though our infrastructure and transportation services are available to accommodate them," the president remarked.

On Sunday and Monday, the head of state inspected several service points around Jakarta and pointed out that they would enhance the safety and comfort of holiday travellers.

President Yudhoyono visited several sites, including the National Command Post, located on the seventh floor of the Transportation Ministry Building; Senen Railway Station; and Kampung Rambutan Bus Station, to get briefed on the services being provided to home-bound travellers.

"I took a few minutes to board a train and a bus to ensure that all the passengers were seated in air-conditioned compartments," the president wrote on his Twitter account.

The president also praised the state railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia, which will transport passengers and their motorcycles to reduce the number of road accidents involving motorcyclists. In addition, more than 100 thousand passengers and their motorcycles will be transported free of charge from Jakarta to Semarang in Central Java via ships and warships.

During his Ramadan safari to Lumajang, East Java, recently, the head of state pointed out that the government did not silent about the management of mas exodus during the Idul Fitri holiday season.

Yudhoyono asserted that the rank-and-file members of the government did not stay silent but continued to make improvements and attempts to anticipate the Lebaran homecoming.

"The government does not remain silent. All ministers continue to work hard to manage the areas which are prone to traffic jam and accident, to provide fuel oil for holiday travelers, to set up health and security posts, and deploy more than a hundred security personnel from the Police and National Defense Forces (TNI) across the sensitive areas," the president noted.

On a separate occasion, the head of state also reminded everyone to take extra precautions to prevent and reduce the number of traffic accidents typically witnessed during the holiday season.

"We must prevent the potential for traffic accidents or at least reduce the number of accidents to minimise the number of victims," the president said, adding that 908 people had died during the holiday last year as a result of traffic accidents.

Minister of Communications and Informatics Tifatul Sembiring confirmed that President Yudhoyono had requested all government agencies to be alert during the holiday, rather than considering their operations routine.

"Extra efforts must be adopted to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and a reduction in fatalities," he emphasised. 

Millions of people across the country are en route to their home villages to celebrate the holiday season with their friends and families, leading to the assembly of large crowds at airports, seaports, train stations, and bus terminals both before and after August 8, the start of the holiday.

After inspecting the Soekarno-Hatta International airport last Thursday, Transportation Minister Evert Erenst Mangindaan said security would be boosted at five international airports in Indonesia during the Islamic post-fasting holiday of Lebaran. 

Mangindaan identified these five airports as Jakarta`s Soekarno-Hatta airport; Kualanamu in Medan, North Sumatra; Ngurah Rai in Bali; Hasanudin in Makassar, South Sulawesi; and Juanda in Surabaya, East Java. 

Mangindaan made assurances that security in smaller airports would remain a top priority in connection with the holiday.

He noted that more security personnel would be deployed to all important transport facilities as the number of passengers soars to avoid any untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, National Police (Polri) Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo clarified that two-thirds of the police department`s 400,000 personnel would be deployed during Lebaran to ensure the implementation of security initiatives.

"Polri has 400,000 personnel now, and two-thirds of them will be deployed to ensure security during Lebaran while overseeing the exodus on August 1-17, 2013," Pradopo said here recently.

Pradopo explained that the main security operation will focus on the movement of holiday travellers from Jakarta to Central Java, East Java, Lampung, South Sumatra, and North Sumatra.

To support the government`s call for the public to avoid travelling on motorcycles, the national police chief pointed out that Polri was providing trucks, ships, and trains as free transport for motorcyclists.

"The motorcycles and their riders will be transported on trucks, ships, and trains at no charge as part of our efforts to reduce traffic jams and accidents," stated Pradopo. (Antara)

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