Did Indonesia’s high-speed rail cut off this village’s only source of water?


When residents of Puteran village heard that a tunnel for Indonesia’s first high-speed rail would be built near their village, they felt proud to be witnesses to their country’s development. The high-speed rail would be built by a consortium of Indonesian and Chinese state-owned companies, called Kereta Cepat Indonesia China, or KCIC. The train is scheduled to be operational soon, with ministers like Luhut Pandjaitan and Budi Karya Sumadi, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo going on trial runs. But when construction for one of the railway’s tunnels began back in 2020, something strange happened in Puteran village. Spring water that used to gush out of their taps, started dwindling. One by one, villagers found their taps dry. Is the tunnel construction to blame? BenarNews investigates.