The Jakarta Post
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has requested that the Jakarta administration stop the Jakarta Bay reclamation project temporarily until it meets the sufficient requirements in accordance with the law.
The controversial megaproject of the 17 man-made islets off the Jakarta Bay does not meet existing regulations even though the authority lies in the hands of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, Susi said on Friday.
"We want the reclamation to be halted for a while until all the requirements are fulfilled as mandated by the law," Susi told journalists in a press conference at her official residence.
Reclamation projects could proceed, but the Jakarta administration must follow procedures, the minister said.
Based on a 1995 presidential decree issued by the late president Soeharto, the Jakarta governor has the authority to issue reclamation permits. However, a 2012 presidential regulation stipulates that reclamation permits must be based on the ministry's recommendations as Jakarta was included in the national strategic areas.
Moreover, Susi also pointed out that the reclamation projects had been started despite the lack of Jakarta's coastal area spatial planning bylaws. The Jakarta City Council halted the deliberations on the bylaws on Tuesday on the back of legal issues following the arrest of councillor Muhammad Sanusi over alleged bribery on the discussions of the bylaw.
The ministry and House of Representatives Commission IV overseeing agriculture, forestry and maritime affairs had also agreed to stop the reclamation projects during a working meeting at the House complex on Wednesday.
The ministry initiated a meeting with all relevant stakeholders of the project, such as the Jakarta administration, the Environment and Forestry Ministry and developers to settle the dispute, Susi said.
The discussion was needed to clarify the overlapping regulations regarding the megaproject, for which investment is estimated at Rp 150 trillion ($11.4 billion), to bring a win-win solutions for all stakeholders, especially the public.
The ministry will also push for public facilities in the planned 5,100 hectares of reclaimed islets, Susi said.
"We have to monitor the access of the public to the beach. Currently many people can't access the beach because corporations have plotted the beach for their own benefits," Susi added.
The ministry has asked the Jakarta administration to cooperate to settle any disputes regarding reclamation, she added.
Separately, Governor Ahok has claimed that he has the support of the President in regard to the reclamation projects.
"The President sees nothing wrong with the reclamation. Most importantly don't damage the environment, president said," he added. (rin)
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