The large number of commercial ferries operating on the short run between Ketapang, East Java and Gilimanuk in Bali has drawn the attention of Commission V of the Indonesian Hours of Representatives (DPR-RI) charged with overseeing the transportation sector.
Commission V is calling for an immediate moratorium on new ships licensed to operate between Java and Bali because. In the opinion of the lawmakers, there are currently too many ships working the Bali Straits.
As reported by Balipost.com, 56 ships now sailing the Bali Straits must queue, waiting for the chance to carry vehicles and passengers. Based on loading times and length of journey, only 32 crossings can be made each day, meaning 24 ships must stand by seeking an opportunity to sail.
The vice-chairman of Commission V of the DPR-RI, Sigit Sosiantomo said during a visit to Ketapang Port on Wednesday, May 30, 2018: “Pity the ferry businesses already in existence. There must be a moratorium on (more) ships. “
Sosiantomo lamented that the large number of ships on the Straits have breen redered as non-efficient the ferry business between Bali and East Java, leaving ferry companies unable to meet operating costs. Adding: “This condition must be confronted by the Government. Don’t issue licenses for new ships. Those in operations must be managed well, and new ferry piers must be built. The quality of passenger services must be improved.”
National lawmakers want to see a moratorium on new ferry vessels on services between Ketapang-Gilimanuk (Bali Straits) and Merak-Bakahueni (Sunda Straits) – both crossings considered to have an excess of ships providing crossing services.
The Legislators say the over-supply has become so acute that ships can only effectively operate between 12-15 days per month, providing insufficient cash streams to cover operating costs of the ferry fleet. Moreover, the current lack of profitability is preventing a much-needed rejuvenation of the ferry fleet. For this reason, Commission V wants the Ministry of Transportation to create a moratorium on new vessels so the ferry crossing industry can improve services on a par with improvements being made in the aviation sector.
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Re-posted by Pande