Depok may nix mall at Wiladatika Park
The Depok administration says it may reject a plan from Pramuka, the country’s scouting movement, to convert the 19-hectare Wiladatika Recreational Park in Cibubur, West Java, into a shopping mall.
“We may reject the plan, if we consider [the mall] unsuitable to the city’s development and spatial planning,” Sri Utomo, the administration’s head of investment and legal affairs, said on Thursday.
He said that shopping malls should be built in less-developed areas, such as Bojongsari, Citayem or Cilodong, to foster economic growth. Cibubur already has several shopping malls, including Cibubur Junction, which is located in the vicinity of Wiladatika Recreational Park. “There is no doubt that [the mall] will affect its surroundings, especially the traffic in the area,” Sri said.
Pramuka has been under scrutiny this week following the announcement of its proposal to cooperate with the private sector to turn the park, currently a camp site for scouts, into a commercial center. The commercial center will include a mall, hotel, swimming pool, tennis court and other entertainment facilities.
The planned development is expected to generate at least Rp 570 billion (US$61.5 million) for Pramuka over 30 years, or approximately Rp 17 billion a year.
The business plan has drawn stern criticisms, with some saying that Pramuka had “gone off track” from its initial mission to build character, personality and nationalism within the country’s youth.
Pramuka spokesperson Kodrat Pramudho defended the business plan, saying that it was necessary for his organization’s “financial sustainability”. He referred to the fact that the government only allotted Pramuka Rp 20 billion a year, an amount he considered insufficient to fund its activities. (sat)
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