The Jakarta Post
Germany-based cleaning equipment and technology provider PT KÃ¤rcher has begun cleaning the 132-meter high National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta, using two high-tech hot water jet washers.
KÃ¤rcher's senior manager for marketing and business development, Fransisca Natalia, said that the company had assigned 17 local workers to clean the eight-meter-high bowl-like part of the monument, known locally as the cawan, and its 2,025-square-meter floor since Tuesday.
Starting on Thursday, the company would assign three German staff to clean the monument's 117-meter obelisk, she said.
'We are using two HDS 6/14 C high-tech hot water jet washing machines to clean Monas,' Fransisca said on Wednesday.
She said that each of the machines could spray hot water with a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and 20 bars of water pressure at a flow rate of 900 liters per hour.
'We [will use] around 20,000 liters of hot water a day to wash Monas,' she said.
However, the monument's bronze flame structure, which is coated with 35 kilograms of gold foil, would not be washed because it is still clean, said Fransisca.
'The bronze flame structure, which is on the top, is still clean because rain water has cleaned it up,' said Fransisca.
'The dirtiest part of the tower is the obelisk,' she added.
The cleanup, which will be undertaken until May 18, marks the second time that Monas has been cleaned since its inauguration in 1975. The monument, which broke ground in 1961, was first cleaned in 1992.
'This is the second time for KÃ¤rcher to clean up Monas. The company first cleaned up the tower in 1992,' Monas management unit head Rini Hariyani told The Jakarta Post.
The German company's appointment sparked a strong protest from similar local companies recently. They say such work can be done by local companies.
However, the city administration said the German company was not being paid to do the cleaning work, explaining that it was done by KÃ¤rcher as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in Indonesia.
Rini said that local companies had no reason to be jealous of KÃ¤rcher.
She said the German-based company was the only firm that had delivered a CSR proposal to the Jakarta governor for cleaning up Monas.
'The cleanup process is fully financed by KÃ¤rcher,' said Rini.
'KÃ¤rcher actually sent its CSR proposal to the then Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo in 2010,' said Rini.
Rini said the monument would not be completely closed to visitors during the cleanup.
'We will close only the obelisk and cawan sections. The floor with the museum of the Proclamation of Independence will still be accessible,' she said.
Domestic tourist Marzuki, 53, expressed his disappointment that he and his family were not permitted to see Jakarta from the top of the obelisk.
'We have come from Madura to visit Monas. But we can enjoy the museum only,' said Marzuki.
According previous reports, the Jakarta administration spent Rp 60 billion (US$5.20 million) beautifying the grounds around the monument last year.
It also plans to develop a three-level underground parking lot, a mass rapid transit (MRT) station, tunnels connecting the underground space to nearby City Hall and Gambir Station, as well as an outdoor amphitheater. (alz)
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