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Jakarta Post

Ciliwung riverbank residents in South Jakarta expand living space with piles of stones

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 14, 2019   /   05:58 pm
Ciliwung riverbank residents in South Jakarta expand living space with piles of stones Full of trash: Rows of illegal settlements stand along the banks of the Ciliwung River in Manggarai, Jakarta, on Sept. 13. Experts said it would take committed efforts to clean the river to make it as attractive as the Cheonggyecheon in Seoul, South Korea. (The Jakarta Post/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Tebet district head Dyan Airlangga in South Jakarta instructed his staff on Wednesday to check on allegations that people living along the banks of the Ciliwung River near Jl. Manggarai Selatan 3 in Tebet were attempting to expand their land.

According to reports, they have allegedly been placing sacks of stones on the riverbed, causing the river to narrow and the water to flow faster.

“I’ll check [on the reports],” Dyan said, “[The river] is a Public Works Agency asset so we should coordinate with them before taking any measures.”

After checking on the situation, Dyan said he would report what he finds to the South Jakarta mayor, who would pass on the information to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

In the meantime, the district officials would approach the residents and ask them to live somewhere else that was safer.

“Through the officials of neighborhood and community units or important figures, we keep informing them and asking them not to use riverbanks as a place to live,” Dyan said.

Other residents living near the river had previously admitted they started having unpleasant experiences since the channel had become narrower because of the land expansion.

A resident named Pierre, 36, who lived across the expanded riverbanks, said he was worried that the water currents in the river would erode the ground on which his house stood, possibly causing a landslide.

“Because of [the land expansion] the water flows faster here. The erosion is getting worse,” he said, adding that besides stones, he also spotted large amounts of garbage piled up along the riverbanks.

Pierre, however, did not blame the residents, who were his neighbors. He said perhaps the people did it to anticipate the rainy season, in a bid to avoid flooding when a heavy downpour occurs.

“I’m not blaming them. Maybe they just don’t understand,” he said. (vla)