Jakarta clears hurdle in reclamation project
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration has signaled that it will proceed with its controversial reclamation project, saying that it has completed the necessary strategic environmental assessment (KLHS). Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda) head Tuty Kusumawati said on Thursday that the administration had completed the assessment, which was required by the Environment and Forestry Ministry, so the project could go forward.
“We have completed the KLHS as the basis for the contractor to revise its environmental impact analysis [Amdal],” she said.
Tuty was referring to private developer PT Muara Wisesa Samudra (MWS), a subsidiary of developer PT Agung Podomoro Land (APLN). MWS received the permit to build Islet G in 2014 from Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who also issued permits for other islets: F,I, K and H.
The project came under public scrutiny after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested former city councillor Muhammad Sanusi for allegedly receiving bribes from APLN, linked to the deliberation of bylaws related to the reclamation project.
The environment ministry evaluated the reclamation project and concluded that it was mired in apparent maladministration. The ministry later advised the administration to suspend work on the project.
Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar previously said the relevant parties should fulfill certain requirements prior to proceeding with the project. The requirements included revision of the Amdal taking into account technical designs for power plant pipes, sedimentation mitigation and sailing routes for traditional fishermen.
“Such plans should also be adjusted in Jakarta’s assessment [KLHS],” Siti said earlier.
Recently, the city council included two draft bylaws — the zoning of Jakarta’s coastal areas and small islands bylaw and Jakarta’s north coast strategic area spatial planning bylaw, in its deliberation list this year.
Tuty said that while waiting for the deliberation of the two bylaws the city had issued the KLHS by using the indicative trace of the National Coastal Integrated Capital Development (NCICD) in Gubernatorial Decree No. 1685/2016.
“The project should be integrated with Phase A of the NCICD project as mandated by President Joko Widodo,” she said.
Separately, National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) chief Bambang Brodjonegoro said the reclamation project needed to widen the gap between the coastline and islet G in Jakarta Bay to make way for shipping traffic.
“To accommodate bigger interests, islet G should be expanded,” Bambang said as quoted by kompas.com.
The gap between islet G and the coastline should be widened to 500 meters from the current 300 meters in order to allow more space for vessels to pass through, said Bambang.
The controversy over the reclamation project resurfaced on Tuesday when fishermen and environmental activists, grouped under the Coalition to Save Jakarta Bay, staged a rally in protest at an Amdal publicity event organized by MWS.
“How come they are publicizing the Amdal now, when the construction is already 20 percent complete?” the coalition’s lawyer Tigor Hutapea asked.
Tigor claimed that the project had adversely affected the livelihood of the fishermen, had caused flooding and disrupted the operation of the nearby coal-fired power plant in Muara Karang.
Separately, acting Jakarta governor Sumarsono said publicizing the Amdal was done with his consent.
Sumarsono claimed the company could collect feedback from residents about the project, but it was not permitted to discuss the details of the project since the final approval to continue the project had yet to be granted by the environment ministry.
“The ministry is now speeding up the process to determine the fate of the project,” Sumarsono said.
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