The Jakarta Post
Thousands of residents in Karanganyar regency, Central Java, rejected the government's plan to begin geothermal exploration at Mt. Lawu, citing environmental reasons.
“Residents and stakeholders of Mt. Lawu firmly rejected the geothermal exploration. We have many reasons but mainly we have environmental concerns,” Aan Shophuanudin, the head of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth (KNPI), said over the weekend.
He said four regencies — Karanganyar, Sragen, Wonogiri in Central Java and Magetan in East Java — relied on Mt. Lawu for their clean water supply.
“Who can guarantee that the geothermal project would not damage the environment?” he said.
Maryono, a village figure in Karanganyar, said he was concerned about the project's potential effects on the water supply. He was also worried that various aspects of cultural heritage would be compromised at the mountain, where ancient Hindu temples are located.
Residents have put up a banner since the weekend rejecting the exploration.
Karanganyar councilor from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Darwanto, said the PKS faction of the council also opposed the project.
Earlier, Karanganyar regent Juliyatmono expressed his objection against the plan and said he had sent a letter to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
Last year, PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) won the contract to conduct geothermal exploration for a power plant that was expected to generate 165 megawatts of electricity. (evi)
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