Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has said that there is room for improvement in monitoring ferry services, which have long been the backbone of inter-island transportation throughout the archipelago.

“With all of the incidents, [monitoring] has not been implemented optimally,” Budi said in Makassar on Wednesday as reported by kompas.com, referring to two deadly boat accidents in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, and Selayar Islands, South Sulawesi, that killed over 100 passengers.

He said the ministry’s sea transportation division had to cooperate with local governments that were authorized to oversee several aspects of ferry operations because of regional autonomy.

“I ask them to collaborate with the regional governments because there are many functions that are under their authority,” Budi said.

The minister attributed the number of accidents in part to a lack of supervisory personnel at seaports.

He said he would coordinate with the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry to discuss the issue. “We have to talk with the administrative and bureaucratic reform minister on […] shipping supervision,” he added.

Budi, however, said he was reluctant to talk about whether regulations were to blame for the transportation accidents.

Under the current system, seaport authorities are required to inspect all boats and ships before they depart.

“The seaport authority could release the ships only after they are in good condition and equipped with the necessary requirements,” he added. (bbn)





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