The Jakarta Post
Temporary facelifts for parts of Jakarta before the Asian Games are a waste of money, a city councilor has said.
Councilor Bestari Barus criticized the installation of a nylon net to cover up the Sentiong River, dubbed by locals Kali Item (black river), in Central Jakarta, and the planting of grass strips along Jl. Sudirman sidewalks in South Jakarta.
“[The projects] are very improvident, because [the net and the grass] will be thrown away after,” Bestari said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.
The Jakarta administration has spent Rp 580 million (US$40,000) on a giant nylon net to hide the Sentiong’s pollution and stench from Asian Games visitors next month.
The administration has also planted 2.5-meter wide grass strips along the sidewalk of Jl. Sudirman ahead of the Games.
Commuters have complained that they have to cross over the grass to board buses, which results in the trampling and destruction of the plants.
The grass strip is part of the Jl. Sudirman-Jl. MH Thamrin sidewalk revamp that should have been started last year. The project was halted because, after taking office last year, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan wanted some changes to the design.
Anies has stated that both the nylon net and grass strips will only be there until the Asian Games finish on Sept. 2, when the real work to clean the river and revitalize the sidewalk will begin.
Bestari said Anies and his deputy Sandiaga Uno would have had enough time to work on permanent solutions for the two problems if they had started when they took office last year. (gis)