The Indonesian government has asked the regional administration of West Papua to speed up its preparation for the construction of a railway in the province.
Antara News reports that the head of the land transport office of West Papua, Harold Jan Umpain, said he has received instructions from Jakarta to begin clearing land for the railway tracks.
Mr Umpain said the railway would connect the cities of Sorong in the west and Manokwari in the east passing through South Sorong, Maybrat, Teluk Bintuni, South Manokwari and Manokwari.
He told Antara News that President Joko Widodo intended to travel to West Papua in 2017 to personally launch the railway project.
Originally the president had hoped to launch the project in July this year in Sorong, but this was delayed because of unresolved disputes over land prices.
Meanwhile the final engineering design for the railway is in its final stages.