The Sota PLBN Indonesia’s New Face at the Border Towards Papua New Guinea

The Sota PLBN Indonesias New Face at the Border Towards Papua New Guinea
The Sota PLBN Indonesias New Face at the Border Towards Papua New Guinea

President Jokowi has inaugurated the Sota Integrated Cross-Border Post (PLBN) in Merauke Regency, Papua Province, three months ago in October 2021. The Sota Integrated PLBN is the eighth PLBN built on Indonesian borders.

This is the second PLBN construction in Papua after Skouw, and the Yetetkun PLBN in Boven Digoel Regency will follow. Quoting kompas.com, the development of the Integrated PLBN is the Government’s commitment in increasing the distribution of developmental results and reducing disparities, particularly in the 3T region (frontier, outermost and underdeveloped) and in accordance with the Nawacita mandate of ‘Building from the Periphery’ which was initiated by President Jokowi five years ago.

President Jokowi said that the border area is the front veranda of Indonesia that represents the face of the nation. This represents Indonesia’s progress that makes the whole community proud. “With a new face, with a new look, and also, no less important, with better service methods, which is a reflection of our commitment to developing border areas,” he said in a written statement. The Sota PLBN was built with an integrated concept between commercial buildings with public and social facilities such as markets and residences.

He also hopes that the Sota PLBN will provide better and more comfortable services to the Indonesian people who cross Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. “Improving security in border areas, encouraging the growth of new economic centers and making people more in love and proud of the Indonesian nation,” he said.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono added that the development of PLBN is not only aimed at cross-border posts, but will also be encouraged to become a new center of economic growth. One of them is by building a market. Thus, the presence of PLBN will improve the welfare of the people in the border area. “The development of the PLBN is not only an entry gate, but also the embryo of a regional economic growth center that can improve the welfare of border communities,” he said.

The Sota PLBN Indonesias New Face at the Border Towards Papua New Guinea1
The Sota PLBN Indonesias New Face at the Border Towards Papua New Guinea1

The Papua Regional Settlement Infrastructure Center (BPPW), Directorate General of Human Settlements, and the Ministry of PUPR carried out the development of the Sota border area. It is divided into core, sub-core and supporting zones with an area of 5.6 hectares. In the core zone is the main building of the PLBN with an area of 1,000 m2, which has been completed, the Tasbara Gate, Garuda monument or statue, interior works, perimeter fence, CCTV, portal, flagpole and signage, X Ray Scanner, and walkthrough metal detector.

Furthermore, for the sub-core zone, 16 employee type 36 houses were built, prayer rooms, churches, and their interiors. Finally, the supporting zone buildings are in the form of a border market with 15 kiosks, a Soekarno statue, and a waste final disposal site (TPA).

The PUPR Ministry also equips the area around the border with utility buildings, parking areas, landscaping, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), drainage and sanitation systems and is supported by smooth road access. Currently, there are 20-25 people crossing the Sota border, which is about 80 km from Merauke. The construction of the PLBN by contractor PT Nindya Karya (Persero) started in March 2019 and was completed in 2020 with a total budget of IDR 103.6 billion.