Ensuring safety of Idul Fitri exodus travelers

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Idul Fitri Islamic Holiday, or locally called Lebaran, in their hometowns with their families.

As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during this time of the year.

Of the countrys over 250 million population, more than 85 percent are Muslims.

This June, an exodus of homebound travelers has begun across Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, to celebrate Idul Fitri (Eid El Fitr) which falls on June 25.

The number of homebound travelers this year is expected to reach over 19 million, up from 17,698,484 in 2016, and from 17,404,575 in 2015.

To ensure peoples safety during the exodus, more than 170 thousand police and military personnel have been deployed for Ramdaniya Operation being carried out from June 19 to July 4, 2017.

As part of safety measures, the Transportation Ministry has checked the worthiness of transportation means for the travelers.

In early June 2017, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi noted that only 60 percent of intercity and inter-provincial (AKAP) buses operating during Idul Fitri were roadworthy.

“In general, we are satisfied with the results of a ramp check, except land transportation in which only 60 percent of the buses are roadworthy,” he stated in a discussion on the governments preparations to anticipate safe, secure, and comfortable homecoming at the Transportation Ministry recently.

Data from the Directorate General of Land Transportation in early June showed that 5,026, or 43 percent of 11,605 buses checked were roadworthy; 1,632 buses, or 12 percent, must be repaired; and 4,947 buses, or 42 percent, were not roadworthy.

In various regions, checking on roadworthiness was also carried out, including in Surabaya (East Java Province) and Purwokerto, Banyumas, Central Java.

The transportation office of Surabaya has optimized the evaluation of roadworthiness of public buses to ensure safety of homebound travelers.

Daily inspection was conducted before the buses departed from the Purabaya terminal, Irvan Wahyudrajad, head of the Surabaya transportation office, stated recently.

“In June, out of some 1 thousand buses that have been checked, around 24 percent are not roadworthy, and so they were issued tickets,” he revealed.

This condition is better that the previous years figure of 40 percent. During the inspection, we check the tires, wipers, lamps, speedometers, and mirrors, among other things.

Vehicles that clear the check are given stickers saying, “Roadworthy.”

Around 900 buses are parked at the Purabaya bus terminal. To better serve Lebaran travelers heading to their hometowns to celebrate Idul Fitri with their relatives, the Surabaya authorities have provided additional buses and installed 32 CCTV cameras at 18 locations in the terminal area.

At the Bulupitu Terminal, Purwokerto, transportation officers inspected the inter-province buses that were still awaiting passengers.

They checked each vehicles documents and parts, such as the front lights, fog lights, brakes, turning lights, reverse gear, tires, emergency doors, jacks, and other equipment.

Stickers indicating the roadworthiness of the vehicles were placed on buses that received approval from the officers.

Purwokertos Bulupitu Type A Bus Terminal Head Hadi Suharto noted that roadworthy buses should have the necessary documents and meet technical requirements.

“Since Jan 1 this year, daily checks are being conducted at all type A terminals that now come under the ministry,” he stated.

According to Suharto, checks on buses would be intensified for the upcoming Eid, as the people need safe and comfortable services.

Not only are the vehicles given attention, but drivers have also been checked to make sure that they are free of narcotics.

In West Papua, for example, the Narcotic Investigation Directorate of the West Papua Police conducted urine tests on drivers of public transportation vehicles in Manokwari District.

The urine tests were mainly conducted at the Wosi bus terminal in Manokwari, West Papua Police spokesman Adjunct Senior Commissioner Hary Supriyono noted.

The step was taken to prevent traffic accidents, crimes, and violence that could affect homebound travelers.

The urine tests were conducted smoothly, as most of the drivers voluntarily took the tests.

The results were encouraging, as none of the drivers tested positive for the use of narcotics.

“The safety and comfort of passengers are our priority. Drive carefully and follow every traffic sign,” he added.

In Riau Island Province, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has been conducting urine tests on crew members of aircraft transporting Lebaran travelers.

“The tests are being conducted at the Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam and Raja Haji Fisabilillah Airport in Tanjungpinang, as well as at the Sekupang Seaport in Batam, Sri Pinan Pura harbor in Tanjungpinang, and Karimun harbor. We have taken 400 samples,” Nixon Manurung, chairman of the Riau Island BNN, said.

Of the total, 100 samples will be taken from the Hang Nadim Airport, 100 from the Sri Bintang Pura seaport, 100 from the Raja Haji Fisabilillah airport, and another 100 samples from Karimun seaport.

“The activity is still ongoing. The results of the urine tests conducted at Hang Nadim are so far negative,” he said.

The BNN has sent five teams to the Hang Nadim Airport, and each team comprises five personnel of the BNN, one officer of the airport, one of the airport security directorate, and one airport police officer.

General Manager of the Hang Nadim International Airport Suwarso lauded the step to conduct urine tests, which are aimed at ensuring flight safety.

“The transportation ministry has emphasized the need for passenger safety. Hence, everyone should obey it. Accidents during the holiday season must be prevented,” he noted.

Source: Antara News