Govt revives old Jatigede dam project
Paper Edition | Page: 14
The government is planning to revive the Jatigede dam project in West Java, which was stalled in the 1980s due to unresolved social problems.
Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said in Jakarta on Tuesday that in order for the project to be completed, the government needed to resolve the social issues surrounding compensation on land acquired from local households.
“The completion of the Jatigede dam is crucial. It will be the second-largest dam after the Jatiluhur dam. It has been planned since 1963 and its design was completed in 1980,” Hatta said.
The dam, which is estimated to cost around US$400 million, is being built on 4,891 hectares of land covering five districts across 26 subdistricts. The project is expected to provide raw water supply at a capacity of 3,500 liters per second. The government will also build a 110-megawatt hydropower plant as part of the dam project.
The government expects the completed dam to be able to provide irrigation for around 90,000 hectares of rice fields in Indramayu and Cirebon regions. The government has signed a cooperation deal with Sinohydro Corp., a state-owned Chinese corporation, to complete the project.
According to Hatta, the development of the dam had initially begun in the 1980s. However, the government halted the project due to a number of unresolved social issues. “Therefore, we are now establishing a verification team to finally put an end to those issues,” Hatta said, adding that the government was bound by a contract with the Chinese to complete the project on time.
The team consists of the Development and Finance Surveillance Agency (BPKP) and the National Land Agency (BPN). This team is a complement to a previously established “one-roof” team whose membership consisted of officials from various institutions, including the police, the prosecutor’s office and the education and culture office.
The team plans to relocate up to 4,645 Jatigede households by 2013. The relocation will be targeted at surrounding areas including Indramayu, Majalengka and Subang, and the villagers will receive Rp 50 million ($5,250) each in compensation for their homes.
National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) head Armida Alisjahbana said the verification team would be responsible for determining the compensation status on around 8,000 households that were still living in the dam-project area.
“Around 4,000 households previously received compensation based on the domestic affairs minister regulation, which was issued in 1975. Then, another 3,100 households received compensation based upon a presidential regulation on one-time land compensation,” Armida said.
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.