The Jakarta Post
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.
'The 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 'Ahok' 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. 'It 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.
'It [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. 'It 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. 'The developer built the embankment first to hold the water, before reclaiming the land,' he said.
The expert voiced concern over the merged islets. 'Even 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. 'If 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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