West Java Deputy Governor Deddy Mizwar has said more than 71 companies were thought to be involved in environmental pollution in the Citarum River basin.
“Based on our data, the number of industrial players polluting the Citarum River is far higher than that stated in the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) report. The BPK earlier reported there were 17 companies. It’s not 17, it’s more than 71 companies,” said Deddy in Bandung on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
Speaking to journalists after attending a plenary meeting at the West Java Legislative Council (DPRD), Deddy said if only 17 companies were polluting the Citarum as stated in the BPK report on the audit, which was carried out in 2012-2013, damage to the river basin would not be as severe it was.
He acknowledged that the budget allocated by the government to tackle pollution in the Citarum River was quite substantial. “We have spent a lot of money over time, but there have been no significant results,” said Deddy.
In 2013, environmental organization Green Cross Switzerland and international nonprofit organization Blacksmith Institute named the Citarum River among the world’s 10 most polluted places.
Deddy said efforts to tackle Citarum pollution should not be carried out only in the river basin. “We should improve not only the river basin but also the entire surrounding area,” said the deputy governor.
Earlier, BPK member Ali Masykur Musa said that the agency had conducted an environmental audit on the basin and found that 17 companies were guilty of polluting the river.“We have reported the audit results to the House of Representatives,” he said. (idb/ebf)