The Jakarta Post
Several regional leaders in Greater Jakarta held a coordination meeting with the Public Works Ministry in Bogor, West Java, on Monday and agreed to develop two large reservoirs in Ciawi, Bogor, and in Sukamahi, Depok, to help prevent rains in the two regions from flooding the city in the coming years.
Leaders present at the meeting included Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto, Bogor Regent Rahmat Yasin, Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya and head of Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers control office at the Public Works Ministry, T. Iskandar.
Director general of water source at the Public Works Ministry Muhammad Hasan said the leaders also endorsed the construction of a large tunnel that would connect the Ciliwung and the Cisadane.
'We have to expedite infrastructure development to tackle flooding,' he was quoted as saying by Kompas.com.
Jokowi said the central government would be responsible for the construction of the two reservoirs, while his administration would handle land acquisition.
To date, hundreds of small reservoirs and dams in Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi help manage the flow of water to the capital city.
Hasan said the proposed tunnel would not overflow the Cisadane River because the maximum capacity of the river was 1,900 cubic meters per second, and it was currently handling a flow of only 1,350 cubic meters per second.
'The tunnel will be 1.2 kilometers long and will channel 200 cubic meters of water per second. That is a normal and safe amount to reroute to the Cisadane River,' he said.
Representatives from Tangerang city and Tangerang regency were absent from the meeting.
Separately, Tangerang Mayor Arief R. Wismansyah expressed his opposition to the tunnel plan, saying that the additional flow would exacerbate flooding in the municipality.
He said four districts located along the river ' Karawaci, Cibodas, Jatiuwung and Periuk ' as well as the Tangerang regency and South Tangerang municipality would suffer if the big tunnel was built.
He called on the leaders to hold another meeting to seek an alternative solution.
'The solution will only relocate flooding from Jakarta to Tangerang. We should look for another option and study the problem together,' he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
The Public Works Ministry first presented the big tunnel idea in 1999, three years after a flash flood hit the city in 1996, displacing thousands of residents and damaging houses and other buildings.
Bogor Regent Rachmat Yasin said the ongoing demolition of illegal villas and buildings in the mountainous Puncak resort area would help restore the area's function as a water catchment zone.
He said so far, the Bogor regency administration had torn down 231 of 800 illegal villas in the area.
'We have decided to demolish the illegal villas because they are built on state land without building permits from the government,' he said, adding that the Jakarta administration was expected to help finance the demolition operation, which so far had cost Rp 7.5 billion (US$619,169).