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Jakarta Post

North coast islet development flaunts bylaw

  • Corry Elyda and Dewanti A. Wardhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 18, 2016   /  10:33 am

Despite the mandate of a bylaw draft on the Jakarta north coast strategic area stating that reclamation consists of 17 islets, each separated by a 200-meter wide canal, developer Agung Sedayu Group subsidiary PT Kapuk Naga Indah (KNI) appears to be constructing Islet C attached to Islet D.

The development violates the company'€™s initial Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal) as well as Presidential Decree No. 52/1995 on the reclamation of the North Jakarta coast.

An aerial photo, with additional visual confirmation provided by a Google Earth map image, accessed on Tuesday, shows that Islet C, currently under-construction, has been developed as an attachment to Islet D, completed earlier, in spite of the required 200-meter separation,

The position of the two islets is not a violation but a normal technical construction process, KNI president director Nono Sampono said after providing his insight as an expert on reclamation at a discussion on the Jakarta north coast strategic area spatial planning.

'€œThe islets are temporarily merged because, if built separately, the sand will spill over,'€ he said. He added that the developer needed to wait until the land was firm and dry, then it would dig it up again to separate the islets.

Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama confirmed that the two islets should not have been constructed as one islet.

However, in a similar statement with KNI, Ahok added that the company would later dredge the land between the two islets in order to make a gap and assured that the initial construction had merely been part of the development process. '€œIt will not be developed as one island, [the developer] certainly has their own calculations,'€ Ahok said recently.

Meanwhile, Spatial Planning and Environmental Bureau head Vera Refina Sari said that the islets should have had a gap between them from the beginning.

'€œIt [KNI] can be punished if the islets are not constructed separately,'€ she said. Bandung Technology Institute'€™s (ITB) Coastal Technical Expertise Group leader, Muslim Muin, claimed that, if the company had indeed merged the islets only to separate them again, it was a ridiculous technique. '€œIt doesn'€™t make sense. If they will dredge it again later, it just means that the company is carelessly reclaiming the land,'€ he said.

If the developer had wanted to build a canal between the islets, it would have constructed it from the beginning, he added.

Muslim gave an example of a port reclamation project in Kali Baru, North Jakarta. '€œThe developer built the embankment first to hold the water, before reclaiming the land,'€ he said.

The expert voiced concern over the merged islets. '€œEven with canals between each of the islets, the reclamation projects pose a great impact on the hydrodynamics of Jakarta Bay. It would be worse without the canals,'€ he said.

The Jakarta Environment Management Agency (BPLHD) head Junaedi said that he did not know that islets C and D did not have a canal between them.

If the construction was not in accordance with Amdal, Junaedi said the agency would send a warning letter. '€œIf they ignore our letter three times, we will sanction the developer by freezing their environmental permit,'€ he said.

Despite requests, The Jakarta Post continues to wait for a copy of the construction permit for Islet C. The city administration first claimed that they had issued five permits, listing D, F, G, I and K islets, and not C, but later changed their statement, saying that apparently they had also issued permits for Islet C and E. The Jakarta Post has been asking for a copy of the permit but to no avail, and has submitted numerous requests since October last year.
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