Jakarta

Jakarta will commence delayed
dredging project in April

Disaster planning: Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto (left) chats with Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widowo (center) as Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah looks on during a disaster mitigation coordination meeting between Jakarta, West Java and Banten administrations and central government officials and House members in Jakarta on Thursday. (JP/P.J. Leo)
Disaster planning: Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto (left) chats with Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widowo (center) as Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah looks on during a disaster mitigation coordination meeting between Jakarta, West Java and Banten administrations and central government officials and House members in Jakarta on Thursday. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The city administration will kick off a massive dredging project, which was initially scheduled for 2008, in April this year.

On Thursday, Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo presented the city’s plan to dredge and expand 13 city waterways and dams under the Jakarta Emergency Dredging Initiative (JEDI), or the Jakarta Urgent Flood Mitigation Project (JUMFP) as it is now recognized.

The initiative is a joint project of the city administration and the central government through the Public Works Ministry, and it is wholly funded through World Bank loans.

“The Jakarta administration will get US$69 million and the Public Works Ministry $70 million. [The administration and the ministry] will start the work simultaneously in April or May,” he said.

The governor outlined the plan for members of the House of Representatives’ Commission V overseeing infrastructure, housing and transportation in a meeting that was also attended by Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah and West Java acting regional secretary Pery Soeparman, as well as officials from the central government’s related institutions.

The Jakarta administration’s work will cover around 60 percent of the whole project, focusing on normalizing and dredging the Ciliwung River, the Gunung Sahari Canal, the Melati Dam, the Gresik Waterway, the Cideng River, the Sentiong River, the Sunter Utara Dam, the Sunter Selatan Dam and the Sunter Timur Dam. The city will continue with the Grogol River, the Sekretaris Canal, the Kali Besar River, the Krukut Cideng Canal and the Krukut Kramat Canal.

Meanwhile, the central government will work on the remaining 40 percent of the targeted waterways; the Cengkareng Canal, the Sunter River, the Cideng Thamrin River, the Tanjungan River, the Angke Bawah River, the West Flood Canal and the Upper Sunter River.

The capacity of the city’s waterways and dams has sharply declined due to the building of homes — most of which are illegal shanties — along their banks.

Jokowi called on all parties to work quickly on the project. “If we don’t work fast, the situation will be the same until 2016,” he said.

Apart from the dredging project, Jokowi also spoke of his plans to issue a gubernatorial regulation making percolation pits in the city’s buildings and houses mandatory, in addition to deep tunnels that will cost an estimated Rp 17 trillion ($1.75 billion).

Commission chairwoman Yasti Soepredjo Mokoagow said the deep tunnel plan should be evaluated thoroughly. “It needs a thorough study as to where it would be built, whether it is that important and so on. I think we should focus on the [dredging] project first,” she said.

In the meeting, the chairwoman and other lawmakers rebuked Pery for failing to provide data on how much of the upstream water catchment areas of West Java have been converted into residential areas.

Pery told the meeting that he had yet receive the data from the Bogor regent.

“This is a meeting to discuss flood-prevention programs — that is important data that we all need to know. If you can’t communicate with your own staff, how can you work with the Jakarta governor?” Yasti said.

Yasti also deplored the absence of West Java governor Ahmad Heryawan, who was believed to have skipped the meeting due to election-related activities. Ahmad is running for reelection in this month’s West Java gubernatorial election.

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