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With residents complaining about the damaged roads in the regency, Tangerang Regent Ismet Iskandar attended a ceremony

marking the beginning of construction on a new Rp 136 billion (US$15.11 million) road stretching for 30 kilometers from Serpong to Tigaraksa. The regent asked residents to support the project, which also will include the construction of a 250-meter bridge over the Cisadane River in Kranggan village, Cisauk district. ""The residents will benefit from the new road in the future. Therefore, they must help the administration by giving up their land for the road construction,"" he said during the ceremony. Ismet said the direct connection between Serpong and Tigaraksa, the capital of the regency, would save travellers both time and money. ""They will not have to take the longer route on the Jakarta-Merak toll road or through the already jammed Jl. Raya Serang,"" he said. Residents in Pondok Aren and Ciputat districts, however, are not happy that a new road is being built at great expense before the current roads are repaired. They said they had repeatedly complained about the damaged roads in Pondok Ranji and Pondok Kacang Barat but never received a response. ""We have to be extra careful when passing along Jl. Merpati because there are lots of deep potholes along the three-kilometer road,"" said resident Achmad Fauzi on Saturday. Residents of Pondok Kacang Barat plan to hold a rally in Tigaraksa on Monday to protest the regent's failure to address the problem of the poor roads. ""The roads have been in bad condition for seven years but there has been no action by the regent,"" said Ucup Jambu. Residents have put up banners that read: ""Welcome to the damaged road. This road is for sale."" ""I think the administration ignores us even though we also pay taxes,"" Ucup said. -- JP