The Depok municipality administration has failed to win approval of the draft bylaw on spatial planning, from the West Java government after scrapping for situ ( small lakes ) that have been converted into residential areas, making the municipality the only region in the province with no such bylaw.
Depok Development Planning Board ( Bappeda ) head Misbahul Munir said on Wednesday that the board did not insert the four lakes and its management in the draft bylaw because their functions had been altered into residential areas.
'If the lakes do not have water in them and have become residential areas in reality, how could we still mention them as lakes?' he said.
The four lakes comprise Lembah Gurame in Pancoran Mas district, Ciming in Sukmajaya district, Telaga in Sawangan and Gundar in Kepala Dua. All the small lakes have been developed into residential areas since 2000.
Depok Legislative Council Speaker Rintis Yanto urged the Depok Bapedda to immediately resolve the problem, saying that the bylaw was needed as a reference of the city development.
'We have repeatedly asked Bappeda to resume the spatial planning draft bylaw because the development of Depok will be aimless and illegal without it,' he said.
The Public Works Ministry has targeted spatial planning bylaws for all local administration to be finished by the end of 2013.
Without a bylaw, all buildings and construction in a region will be considered illegal.
Misbahul said his board would keep trying to make West Java Bapedda understand that the lakes had been changed.
'We will keep discussing to meet an agreement about the lakes, so the draft will be approved into a bylaw,' he said.
Rintis said the draft, directing the region as a residential and service provider area, had been approved by the city council. The Depok administration should wait for the West Java administration to endorse the draft.
According to the council's record, Depok has 27 lakes and reservoirs. However, four of them have disappeared while most of the others are under threat of being altered into residential areas because of low maintenance.
Rintis asked the Depok administration to pay more attention to the lakes because they were greatly related to flood mitigation and water reservation.
University of Indonesia environmental expert Tarsun Wiryono supported the action of the West Java Bappeda, saying that delaying the bylaw process could give a lesson to the city administration to conduct a good inventory and maintenance toward its assets.
Tarsun said since Depok was developed into a municipality in 2000, many assets were misused by land brokers or developers, suspecting that the four lakes were gone because of such reasons.
'The number of reservoirs decreased as many land plots on the banks of the lakes were made into residential areas with legal ownership so the assets changed into private assets,' he said.
Tarsun said the provincial Bappeda has, in fact, encouraged the city administration to take over the assets that had been claimed by private entities and revive their functions into reservoirs again.