President Jokowi ensures that every infrastructure development will always pay attention to environmental sustainability. One form of this effort is to build crossings for wild animals, such as elephants and tigers, in every toll road construction.
Jokowi gave instructions to the PUPR ministry to maintain the survival of wildlife while building infrastructure in Indonesia,
He conveyed this after seeing the elephant crossing at KM 12 of the Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road, on Thursday (5/1/2023).
“In infrastructure development in the country, I also remind you of the importance of paying attention to the environment, as we are building the Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road with 6 tunnels for elephant passage,” he said as quoted via the Presidential Secretariat Youtube, Thursday (5/1/2023) ).
Not only that, but he also asked that any construction of road infrastructure not disturbs animal life, specially protected animals such as tigers.
“And this [Toll road infrastructure] does not interfere with existing elephant crossings. At another place. For example, if you have to cross a tiger [protected area], then there must be a tunnel to keep the wild animals’ paths running as they are. Tiger tracks, bull tracks, tunnels have to be built in several places for protected animals,” he said.
He emphasized that this policy should not only be implemented in Riau but those conservation efforts should also be carried out in other places so that infrastructure development does not disturb the preservation of wild animals.
On a separate occasion, the Head of the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Center (KSDA) Genman S. Hasibuan also added that this elephant tunnel is an adaptation step for the construction of the Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road which has divided elephant habitat into two cities and two districts with a total population of 76 elephants.
“As an adaptation of the construction of this toll road to the presence of elephants in this location, we from the Riau KSDA Center are working together with Hutama Karya to make elephant tunnels so that the elephants’ movements are not disturbed,” he said.
It is known, the island of Sumatra does have a wealth of diverse wildlife. These animals participate in preserving the environment in Sumatra.