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Hero’s welcome: Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (right, in rickshaw) is cheered by residents of Surakarta, Central Java, on Friday. Based on quick counts, Jokowi is leading incumbent Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in the second round of voting for gubernatorial election. People thronged the streets to welcome the mayor after his apparent victory. (Antara/Nugroho Gumav)
Fresh from their victory in the gubernatorial runoff, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, have started planning much-needed changes they need to make in the capital within 100 days.
The pair announced after winning Thursday’s runoff election that they would kick start their much-touted programs, called “smart cards” and “health cards”, within 100 days after their inauguration as governor and deputy governor on Oct. 7.
The cards, which have already been implemented in Surakarta, Central Java, where Jokowi currently serves as mayor, will be used to obtain free access to education and healthcare services. Jokowi said the health card would guarantee that the poor would not have to pay for expensive health treatments or operations.
Besides the cards, Jokowi said he would streamline procedures and make the city’s budget more transparent for the public to see.
Meanwhile, Basuki said he would instruct all the city’s mayors as well as heads of agencies, districts, subdistricts and neighborhoods to give their cell phone numbers to local residents.
“We will ask all bureaucrats to change their ways [of work] to serve the public,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.
In the longer term, the pair would focus on tackling traffic congestion, according to Basuki.
He said they would speed up the stunted development of four Transjakarta corridors and add 1,000 buses to Transjakarta’s current fleet of 520.
Besides that, the pair aim to reduce the waiting time of Transjakarta passengers by implementing an electronic system to manage and coordinate the buses.
“We will be visiting Bogota, Colombia, soon to learn about its busway system so that it can be applied in Jakarta as soon as possible,” Basuki said.
The Transjakarta bus rapid system is a copy of the TransMilenio busway system in Bogota.
Moreover, Jokowi said recently that he aimed to relocate 870 families living on the banks of the Ciliwung River in Bukit Duri, South Jakarta, to low-cost apartment blocks called kampung deret (lined-up villages), which would be constructed a little further away from the river.
Eko Budihardjo, an architectural and city planning expert, said he applauded Jokowi’s plan to relocate residents living in densely populated areas to low-cost apartment blocks.
Eko suggested, however, that the apartment buildings should not exceed five floors in height.
“The people who are relocated need to adapt to their new homes little by little. If an apartment building has more than 10 stories and people living there have to use elevators to access their apartments, I am afraid the elevators will be used recklessly and only for fun,” he said, adding that using elevators would also consume too much energy.
As for Jokowi and Ahok’s plan to proceed with the Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) project, which was abandoned by Fauzi; Eko, who is also a former rector of Diponegoro University in Semarang, said the plan would not solve Jakarta’s traffic congestion.
Eko suggested instead that the new administration should consider providing each area in Jakarta with jobs and schools.
“The city administration needs to distribute jobs evenly in each area, improve the quality of schools and encourage residents to study at schools closest to them,” he said. “That will help reduce the city’s congestion as people won’t have to hop around town to go to school or work.”
While Jakartans usually like quick fixes for their everyday problems, they are refreshingly realistic when it comes to the solving of the city’s major problems, such as traffic congestion, flooding and environmental issues.
Smart cards: Holders of these cards will be able to access free education from elementary up to senior high school.
Health cards: Divided into two types, gold for low-income residents and silver for everyone else. Those eligible for gold cards will be able to access free healthcare at public and private hospitals.
Bureaucratic reform: Processing of applications for licenses such as building permits (IMB) and business permits (SIUP) to be reduced to between one and six days.