JAKARTA - Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono shared stories of his experiences during a working visit to China some time ago.

Minister Basuki assessed that the construction of dams and toll roads in Indonesia and China is very different. Because the number in Indonesia is very minimal compared to China.

At that time, Basuki told the story to China's Minister of Water Resources. According to him, China in the last 10 years, Indonesia has built 61 dams. Apparently, China alone has 98,000 dams.

"I met my colleague, coincidentally an old friend, we talked about water. He is the minister of water resources, we chatted, he was accompanied by the director general, I was with several friends. How is food security in Indonesia? When asked, I said proudly, oh, "Yes, in the past 10 years we have built 61 dams, the largest so far, and he's just smiling. Crickets don't think about it, do they," said Basuki at the peak of World Habitat Day and World Cities Day at the PUPR Ministry Building, Jakarta, Monday, October 30.

"How many dams do you have Bas? More or less after this, we will build 300 dams, so that we can irrigate 20 percent of our irrigated land of 7.3 million hectares (ha). Oh good. How many do you have in China? We have 98,000 dams, I thought it was possible, yes," he added.

Basuki added that in terms of dam capacity, Indonesia is also far behind compared to China in terms of defining a large dam.

Indonesia's criteria refer to the International Commission On Large Dams (ICOLD), which is said to be a large dam if it has a height of 15 meters (m) with a capacity of 500 thousand cubic meters.

"Not in China, oh we use other criteria, how much is it here? Here it's called big if it's 100 million cubic meters, they've always been big," said Basuki.

Not only dams, the same thing also happens to other infrastructure, namely toll roads. Basuki believes that Indonesia needs to work harder to catch up.

"Don't ask about toll roads, there are 280,000 kilometers (km) of toll roads now. We built 2,000 km, just 10 years, it's arrogant. It looks big. When I saw that, oh, we still have to work harder," he added.

Furthermore, Basuki said, Indonesia is also far behind South Korea, which is said to have 17 thousand dams. In Indonesia, there are only around 300 dams.

"South Korea is not wider than Central Java, it has 17 thousand dams. So if we discuss climate change but their behavior is like this, let's discuss it, just discuss it, adapt, mitigate, haish," he added.

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