THE Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan, said the government will disburse a budget of Rp4.04 trillion to develop infrastructure to support the Lake Toba region in 2020.

“An additional budget will also be disbursed from the World Bank of US$200 million for the development of supporting tourism infrastructure in the priority tourist destination. The budget will be very large, for example there are tourist points, we have 39 destination points, we are working on these matters,” he said, in his press release.

He was present at the inauguration of the Toba Caldera Resort area in Sibisa, North Sumatra on Monday. He was accompanied by the Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, the Minister of Transportation, Budi Sumadi, the Governor of North Sumatra, Edi Rahmayadi, and also the Regent of Toba Samosir, Darwin Siagian.

Pandjaitan hopes that development in the Lake Toba region can be responded to well by local residents. He also ensured that the incoming investment would be able to support the economy of the citizens. Local people will also get guidance to support the tourism potential in the region.

He asked all related parties and communities around Lake Toba to hold hands together and continue to work hard for mutual prosperity.

“Once again I ask to all. Let’s get up this Toba, let’s work hard, later on Sigapiton, I’ll go there, I promise and later to the Sigapiton’s elders, let’s sit together. As long as I am still in the rules of the game, I will from time to time definitely help you,” he said.

He emphasized that the government will always listen and empower local residents related to the development of tourism in Lake Toba.

“We will defend the people, the people must be empowered. So if there are complaints here and there do not ever hesitate, tell us. What is certain is that our spirit is very good,” he said.

On that occasion, he invited representatives of the people of Sigapiton Village to eat at the table. This was done in order to listen to public complaints, then find solutions that benefit all parties.

“The people want to be listened to, I hope there is no problem, such as asking for attention to education issues, then being an employee here (Toba Caldera Resort Area), I think that the solution can be found and can be discussed. They are only worried if the government does not pay attention to them. I told them the government would pay attention to them, I guarantee it,” he added. [antaranews/photo special]