Ni Komang Erviani, Nusa Dua – Following unrest in Papua, the government is faced with an expensive repair bill in the easternmost province. Around Rp 70 billion (US$4.9 million) will be allocated to fix at least seven government office buildings.
Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono told reporters in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Monday that his ministry would start the work soon. "I will fly to Papua tonight," he said, adding that the National Police chief and the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander were also heading to Papua on Monday.
Unrest has plagued Papua and West Papua for several weeks, triggered by racist attacks against Papuan students in East Java.
Basuki said the repair work was expected to be complete within one month at the most. "I think, this is different from a tsunami or earthquake. It is not massive [destruction]. It's sporadic. Hopefully, it will not take too long," he said on the sidelines of the third World Irrigation Forum.
So far, the ministry has identified seven government office buildings that need to be repaired, including the Papua People's Assembly (MRP) building, Basuki said, adding that President Joko Widodo had ordered the ministry to restore facilities in Papua as soon as possible.
The minister said he was still calculating the budget needed for the physical work, "Maybe it is around Rp 70 billion."