Gandaria residents oppose TNI's relocation plan
Approximately 100 naval soldiers from the Indonesian Military (TNI) guarded the navy's plan on Monday to relocate the residents of Gandaria, South Jakarta, who have resided in navy-owned houses for decades.
The navy said the relocation of the residents, whose parents and grandfathers were former navy soldiers, was necessary to make way for active navy officers to reside in the houses.
"From the 143 navy-owned houses in the area, we plan to give the 19 houses to our active soldiers to reside in," Navy spokesman Maj. Agus Susilo Kaeri told reporters on Monday.
According to Agus, residents living there were mainly descendants of former navy officers, who had all passed away. He added that due to the area's strategic location, the soldiers' descendants had wrongly utilized the houses for business purposes, such as opening restaurants or shops.
"On the other hand, many of our officers still rent houses to live in. These government-owned houses, meanwhile, were built for our [active] soldiers to support their work for the nation," he argued.
Rico Toselly, a representative of the residents, demanded that the navy give fair compensation to the residents before relocating them to other areas.
"I have been living here since 1975. I paid the building tax and renovated the house with my own money. If this is a government-owned house, then [the navy] should be the one who paid the building's taxes and renovation costs, not the residents," he said. (sat/iwa)