Govt to speed up flood-control projects
Ridwan Max Sijabat
The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo says the government will speed up flood-control projects that have laid siege to the capital city and many other regions in the past few days.
Speaking to national media upon his arrival at Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta on Tuesday, the President stressed that the government would expedite the development of two giant reservoirs in Ciawi and Depok, West Java, and of the underground tunnel connecting the Ciliwung River in Jatinegara and the East Flood Control Canal (KBT) to reduce flooding.
'The deep-tunnel project is expected to reroute some of the water from the Ciliwung River to the East Flood Control Canal during the rainy season, in order to minimize floodwater in Central Jakarta ' especially the Presidential Palace and surrounding areas,' Jokowi said.
However, he said the reservoir-development projects in Ciawi, Depok and Jakarta could not be completed in a short timeframe.
'I just received a short message system [sms] from Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama to discuss the handling of floodwater in the capital, including the Presidential Palace. I will invite Pak Governor tomorrow as I have yet to receive detailed information on the flood issue,' he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Separately, Ahok said that besides revitalizing North Jakarta pump houses that pump water into the sea, the city administration would also repair the aging drainage systems in flood-prone areas.
'The floodwater has caused inundation in a great number of areas, party because the pump houses in Manggarai, Gunung Sahari, Ancol and Pluit do not function well, and partly because of the poor drainage system that has to be repaired,' he said.
The incessant rain on Sunday and Monday inundated sections of at least 49 main arteries in Jakarta grinding land transportation ' including commuter trains and Transjakarta ' to a halt.
The traffic woes are expected to continue over the next few days as weather analysts forecast more rain.
Meanwhile, Yayat Supriatna, a public infrastructure analyst, said that flooding was caused not only by incessant rain, but also by the poor drainage system.
'The city administration has to run faster by repairing the poor drainage system to allow a smooth flow of rainwater to all rivers; and also the pump houses, so that floodwater can be pumped out to the sea rapidly,' he said. (***)
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