Kota Sawahlunto or Sawah Lunto (Jawi: ساواهلونتو) is a town in West Sumatra, Indonesia, 90 kilometres from Padang. The town itself covers 5.9 km² and has a population of 15,279. The city of which the town is the central part covers 276 sq. km, and had a population of 59,821 in 2014. Sawahlunto is one of the mining towns in West Sumatra. It was first established as a town in 1882 by the Dutch along with coal mining operations. Coal was discovered in the mid-19th century by Ir. de Greve. It was then suggested to the Dutch that coal should be mined in the area because coal was needed for industry and transportation. After the discovery of coal the area was frequently visited by geologists. Coal mining was pioneered in the area after the eventual "surrender" of the area to the Dutch in 1876. * In 1888 the Nederland Indies initialised many coal mining facilities * In 1894 train tracks were opened * In 1898 the first coal mining tunnel was built at Air Dingin, Lembah Segar, but was later closed in 1932 and re-opened again in June 2007. Mining was initiated in the area after Independence. Activities were undertaken by PT Tambang Batubara Ombilin (TBO). PT TBO was later liquidated and became a subsidiary of PTBA (Bukit Asam) which is located in Southern Sumatra. Since reforms in the region, the area has experienced a growth in mining community because people felt compelled to participate in coal mining. Coal mining was not restricted within the boundaries of the community but also extended to the land owned by PTBA TPO. The mayor at that time was Ir. Amran Nur, with Erizal Ridwan S.T. as his representative. After golden period of mining and mine sites closed, Sawah Lunto became a ghost town and the population declined. In 2004, Sawah Lunto policy is to make Sawah Lunto as a tourist city and then population inclined. In 2014, 29 percent income came from tourism, while from farming only got 23 percent.Wikipedia
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