The Jakarta Post
Residents impacted by the Jatigede Dam and Reservoir have opposed Presidential Regulation No. 1/2015 on the social impacts resulting from the construction of the dam in Sumedang regency, West Java.
The regulation is part of a solution by President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo related to the dam construction, which was initiated in the 1960s.
The dam will be used to turn an area of 4,896.22 hectares into a water reservoir and was completed in 2014. However, the social impact of the reservoir, covering 28 villages in five districts, has yet to be resolved.
In Bandung on Friday, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan said, 'It will be filled with water early in July 2015.'
Head of Cipaku village in Darmaraja district, Sumedang regency, Didin Nurhadi, alongside other residents, rejected the regulation, stating it only provided for housing relocation and compensation for residents displaced by the reservoir.
'Residents look at the social impact, including life, culture and means of production, with human standards. The regulation does not account for this,' said Didin.
Jokowi said the Jatigede Dam was at completion stage and the reservoir would soon be filled. A delay would cause physical damage and thus incur repair costs. He has asked for the social impact to be immediately addressed.
Article 4 of the regulation provides for the provision of compensation, derived from the state budget, the demolition of homes, people's mobilization, house rent and allowances due to loss of earnings.
Residents have not yet received details on the amount of compensation, which is to be determined by the Finance Ministry based on a proposal from the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry.
'The minister is still assessing the amount of compensation,' said Heryawan.
Residents displaced by the project had earlier demanded compensation of Rp 571 million (US$45,680) for each affected household.
Resident Agus Haruman, of Pakualam village, Darmaraja district, said the compensation would cover the replacement of his land (equivalent to 400 square meters), farm (2,800 sq.m.), a living allowance
for one year and rebuilding a house (36 sq.m.).
The planned reservoir fill-up, scheduled for mid this year, has already been postponed once. Former president Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono aimed for the reservoir to be filled in Nov. 2014, however, protests from residents whose homes and farms would be submerged delayed the implementation.
The Jatigede Reservoir is expected to be able to irrigate 90,000 hectares of farmland. The project, which commenced in the 1970s, will supply water to the north coast of Java at a volume of 3,500 liters per second, as well as water management to an area covering 14,000 hectares.
Head of the Jatigede One-Stop Administration Unit and West Java Regional Development and Planning Agency, Deni Juanda, said his office had repeatedly received input from affected residents who refused the compensation offer.
The final offer from the government was Rp 46,000 for each meter of land in the submerged area. 'That amount has been approved by the Coordinating Economic Minister, but residents still ask whether it can be increased,' said Deni.
Legal advocacy for residents displaced by the Jatigede Dam project is being provided by the Bandung Legal Aid Institute (LBH), which is formulating materials to file a judicial review against Presidential Regulation No. 1/2005. 'We have 180 days from when the regulation was approved,' said LBH Bandung lawyer Willy.
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