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Jakarta Post

Faced with land acquisition problems, MRT likely delayed

  • Corry Elyda

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 19, 2015   /  05:52 am
Faced with land acquisition problems, MRT likely delayed

Jakartans may not be able to enjoy the first mass rapid transit (MRT) system in 2018, as previously scheduled, as its construction has been hampered by land acquisition issues in several areas of South Jakarta.

The head of the Jakarta governor'€™s team for development acceleration, Sarwo '€œYani'€ Handayani, said recently that negotiations with land owners on Jl. Fatmawati had proved difficult and could cause delays for the construction of the MRT in that section.

Jakarta, along with co-hosts Palembang in South Sumatra and West Java province, will host the Asian Games in 2018.

The first phase of the MRT project, which commenced in October 2013, will connect Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta.

Part of the track, from the traffic circle to Blok M, will have six underground stations while Blok M to Lebak Bulus will have seven elevated stations. The capacity of the MRT will be 173,000 passengers per day.

The construction of the first phase of the MRT track will be funded by a ¥125 billion (US$1.03 billion) grant and soft loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and another ¥15 billion from the city budget.

Local residents around Jl. Fatmawati have shown their resistance to the project from the beginning. Many have demanded that the MRT line be built underground as they are worried that its presence could drive down property values.

Yani said that if the deal could not be sealed, the city would use a consignment plan. '€œConstruction is already way behind schedule. We do not want to see further delays,'€ she said.

The former assistant to the governor on spatial planning, said that the city, however, would still try to negotiate with the land owners.

PT MRT Jakarta, the operator of the MRT, previously targeted the construction of the elevated highway on Jl. Fatmawati to begin in October last year.

MRT Jakarta president director Dono Boestami said plots of land that had yet to be acquired were located near the Cipete intersection, which would be used for the Cipete Station, and near the ITC Fatmawati shopping center to be used for the Haji Nawi Station. Both are in South Jakarta.

'€œMeanwhile, land acquisition at Lebak Bulus Station and the National Police housing complex is nearly complete,'€ he said, adding that the Lebak Bulus Station was carrying out a tender for asset release while the housing complex had reached the paperwork phase.

Responding to possible delays in the project, Dono said the project had already been delayed for two years. '€œIt was supposed to be completed in 2016,'€ he said.

He said, however, that his company was still optimistic that the project would be completed in 2018. '€œWe can make some modifications should land acquisition issues continue to hamper construction,'€ he said.

He added that the company could operate half of the track first.

Jakarta Bina Marga Agency head Yusmada Faizal said the city had allocated Rp 600 billion in the draft 2015 city budget to acquire the remaining 20,000 square meters of land on Jl. Fatmawati.

Yusmada said that although the city was open to consignment, it would be a last resort.

'€œWe will start negotiations at the price of NJOP [taxable valuable property] and we can find the right price that can make both parties happy,'€ he said.

He said the NJOP price in the area was around Rp 15 to 20 million.

'€œWe aim to complete the acquisition this year,'€ he said.

The administration has proposed to provide incentives for the residents whose land is to be acquired by PT MRT by giving them permits to construct multi-story buildings on the unused land.

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