REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The government has appointed state-run firms PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (Pelni) and PT Angkutan Sungai, Danau, dan Penyeberangan (ASDP) Indonesia Ferry to operate passengers ships from Muara Angke to Seribu Islands. "We will improve services by appointing Pelni and ASDP to replace private ferries," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said here on Monday.
The ministry has asked Pelni to replace services by private ferries within the next three days. "I have worked in coordination with (Pelni's) president director on the issue," Budi said.
Budi assured that the two state firms would be able to provide better services to the public. In the near future, the ministry will check all ferries operating in Muara Angke harbor and bar those that fail to meet safety standards.
The minister expressed hope that private ship owners will improve their services to passengers. "Private ferries must improve their services with respect to safety and convenience. We will evaluate private ships, and only those who qualify can continue to operate," he said.
Earlier, on Sunday, a ferry caught fire while sailing from Muara Angke to Tidung Island. As of Monday, the death toll had reached 23 persons; 22 others were injured and 130 survived. The ferry reportedly carried 184 passengers.