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Jakarta Post

Reclamation goes on despite controversy

  • Evi Mariani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 13, 2016   /  06:13 pm

Covering an area of 5,155 hectares, or half that of Bogor city, Jakarta'€™s latest reclamation is the largest such project in the country'€™s history, and so far, the most controversial.

Although the reclamation was not his initiative or idea, Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja has shown that he is now the biggest proponent of the project, with four more permits issued during his first year of leadership.

His first permit, for Islet G, or Pluit City built by Agung Podomoro Land'€™s subsidiary PT Muara Wisesa Samudra, was issued in December 2014, a month after he was sworn in. The latest permit was issued on Nov. 17, 2015 for Islet K by PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, despite protests and legal challenges by local fishermen at the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN).

The permits were also issued despite the incomplete draft of the bylaw on northern coastal zoning.

President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo, who was Jakarta governor for two years from October 2012 to November 2014, did not issue a single permit and even told the press several times in 2013 that he remained cautious about the project, fearing it might only benefit developers.

Spatial planning experts have questioned the public benefits of the 17 man-made islets by nine companies, mostly developers, while others have raised environmental concerns.

Bandung Institute of Technology'€™s (ITB) Coastal Technical Expertise Group leader, Muslim Muin said the construction of the 17 islets would create canals between the islets effectively extending the flow of rivers into the sea.

The 300-meter-wide and 32-kilometer-long gap between the northern coastline and the islets would also become a canal, Muslim said.

'€œIt will increase the cost of dredging sedimentation. Who will shoulder this cost? Dredging is not cheap and if it is not dredged regularly, it will flood,'€ he said.

Local fishermen have filed a petition with the PTUN against the construction permit for Pluit City, demanding it be revoked because they claim the work threatens their livelihood.

The Jakarta Post has prepared a special report into the potential benefits and drawbacks of the reclamation project.

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