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Jakarta Post

Fishermen continue to fight Jakarta Bay reclamation

  • Indra Budiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 22, 2016   /  03:44 pm

With a trial judging the Jakarta administration'€™s decision to allow construction of artificial Islet G still ongoing, the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen'€™s Association (KNTI) and the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) have filed a second petition at the Jakarta State Administrative Court against permits for the construction of three other islets, namely islets F, I and K.

On Thursday, dozens of fishermen visited the court to file a petition against three permits issued by the city administration for reclamation projects. Permits were given on Oct. 22 last year to city-owned PT Jakarta Propertindo for Islet F and to PT Jaladri Eka Pakci for Islet I, and on Nov. 17 to PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol for Islet K.

KNTI advisory board head Riza Damanik said the petition emphasized several violations in the three permits, issued in the form of gubernatorial decrees by Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama.

'€œThe requirements to issue reclamation permits are very strict, and must be legally based on a bylaw. However, despite no bylaws having been issued, the reclamation has continued to go ahead illegally,'€ Riza told The Jakarta Post.

In September the Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda) told the Post that it had finished drafting a bylaw to regulate the 17 man-made islets planned to be built off the city'€™s north coast.

According to the bylaw draft, the islands will be divided into three areas; the East Zone, consisting of islets A to H, will function as housing; the Central Zone, islets I to M, will be a commercial area; and the West Zone, islets N to Q, will be for logistics and sea and air ports.

However, while the draft is still waiting to be passed by the city council, reclamation projects in several islets have been continuing; one, Islet C, appears half-finished in satellite imaging from Google Earth, despite the public still being denied access to a copy of the permit.

According to Riza, the plaintiffs demand that the court grant the petition and halt the reclamation project. There was a possibility, he added, that the KNTI would file a petition against construction permits for other islets.

Muhammad Tahir from the KNTI said that besides the legal aspect, reclamation projects also threatened the livelihoods of fishermen working on Jakarta'€™s north coast. For example, he said, the area around Islet F had become an '€œentrance gate'€ for fishermen to access the sea.

'€œThe project in no way benefits these fishermen,'€ Tahir said.

Meanwhile, on the same day, the court held a hearing of a petition filed by the KNTI, LBH Jakarta and the People'€™s Coalition for Fisheries Justice Indonesia (Kiara) against the governor for granting permission for the construction of Islet G.

In Thursday'€™s hearing, the plaintiffs submitted documents to the panel of judges to support their claim. Handika Febrian, a lawyer representing the fishermen, said he had submitted a number of documents to support the plaintiffs'€™ legal standing.

'€œIn the previous hearing they claimed that we didn'€™t have a legal standing to file a petition. Today we are filing the documents that disprove that claim,'€ Handika said.

He added that in the next hearing the plaintiffs would present six witnesses whose lives had been affected by the reclamation projects.

Meanwhile, Nadia Zunairoh from the city administration'€™s legal bureau said she had submitted a number of documents, including Bylaw No. 1/2012 on spatial planning and several court verdicts that supported the project'€™s legality.

The city has said that the legal bases for reclamation are the 2012 spatial Planning Bylaw and a 1995 presidential decree on Jakarta reclamation.

Presiding judge Ujang Abdullah said the trial would continue with witness testimony on Feb. 4.

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