Minister Dahlan Targets Wrong Toll Booth in Latest Meltdown
An infuriated State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan forcibly opened four tollgates and let cars enter for free in North Jakarta on Monday before realizing that the toll road belonged to a private company.
Ministry spokesman Faisal Halimi said that in a repeat of a similar incident last month, Dahlan was upset after seeing crippling traffic in front of the West Ancol tollgate.
“I had to get down and dirty and let toll road users in for free,” Faisal quoted the minister as saying to infrastructure and logistics deputy Sumaryanto Widayatin.
Dahlan, the spokesman said, was returning to his office from a a state-owned warehouse in Cil incing, North Jakarta, when his vehicle became snarled in traffic.
The frustrated Dahlan got out of his car to scold officials. Officers could only stand and watch as Dahlan ordered vehicles through the tollgate without paying.
After traffic eased up, Dahlan told officials to open all booths to speed the process.
But hours after the incident, Dahlan realized the particular section of the toll road did not belong to state-owned toll operator Jasa Marga, but instead was run by Citra Marga Nusapala Persada, a private company listed at the Indonesian Stock Exchange.
“I am truly sorry for my actions in letting so many cars at the West Ancol tollgate through for free,” the minister said.
“I thought the tollgate belonged to Jasa Marga.”
Dahlan said he felt responsible for the predicament of road users stuck in traffic caused by slow services at the toll gate — particularly during rush hour.
“Even though I offer my apology, I expect to see better services, by adding either more booths or more officials to speed up the payment process,” he continued.
“If my apology is not enough, I am willing to compensate the [lost] revenue from the cars that entered for free.”
This is not the first time Dahlan took control of tollgates he saw as the root cause of crippling traffic. Dahlan’s actions last time drew praise from Jakartans who were upset over inadequate toll operator services.
Last month, as the minister was heading to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for a meeting, his car stopped in a queue of roughly 30 vehicles at a tollgate in the Semanggi area of Central Jakarta.
Dahlan threw a chair from one of the vacant booths, lifted the barrier blocking the way and gestured for drivers to pass through without paying. Scores of vehicles drove through.
The Semanggi tollgate in question did belong to Jasa Marga.
Investor Daily & Antara