The Jakarta Post
Residents due to be evicted from Pasar Ikan in Muara Angke, North Jakarta, have insisted on staying put unless the city administration grants them compensation for leaving behind their livelihoods.
The evictions are part of the Jakarta administration's plan to clear the area for flood mitigation purposes and to revitalize Pasar Ikan.
Representatives of the community visited the Jakarta City Council on Monday to ask councilors to urge Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to halt the eviction plan.
Sunadi, a lawyer representing Pasar Ikan residents, said the administration must grant compensation to the residents for taking away their homes.
Most of the residents have occupied land in the area for more than 30 years. They have spent money on buildings and paid land and building taxes regularly. Other residents have borrowed money from banks using their buildings in Pasar Ikan as collateral, Sunadi said.
“The ownership status of land in Pasar Ikan is unclear but basically we have found that most of the residents have lived in the area for more than 30 years. The administration’s negligence has become our basis for requesting compensation,” Sunadi said at a hearing with the city council.
The city officially began clearing the area last week, despite resistance from local residents.
Community representative Upi Yunita said the evictees would continue to occupy the land until the administration provided compensation.
Ahok previously said that clearing Pasar Ikan was necessary for the administration to install sheet piles on riverbanks in the area to prevent flooding during high tide.
He added that installing sheet piles would not only save the area from flooding but would help to protect the whole city.
The City Council considered the administration's conduct in evicting the residents last week to be inhumane, council speaker Prasetio Edi Marsudi said during the meeting.
Around 385 residents have insisted on staying in the area. Another 73 people have decided to stay on their boats as a symbol of protest at the city's plan to relocate them to low-cost apartments.
"These [evictions] are misconduct toward residents. We will request that the administration halt the evictions in Pasar Ikan," Prasetio said during a meeting with the residents at the City Council on Monday.
The City Council's Commission A overseeing administrative affairs will summon Ahok to discuss the evictions and deliver recommendations as soon as possible.
The councilors could push for Ahok to relocate the residents to an alternative location near Pasar Ikan to help them continue their livelihoods.
The administration has provided low-cost apartments in Marunda, Rawa Bebek and Kapuk Muara to accommodate the evictees.
However, the relocation plans met were with protests as some residents refused to move to the apartments, citing the long distance from Pasar Ikan, where they earn a living.
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