Hundreds of trees on roadside green belts in Central Jakarta are to be cut down to make way for the phase 2 development of the MRT line, which is currently under way, the developer has said.
A total of 867 trees growing along Jl. MH Thamrin, the National Monument (Monas) complex and Jl. Museum will be relocated or replaced, PT MRT Jakarta construction director Silvia Halim said recently.
The process began last week and is expected to be finished within two months, said the official of the city-owned transportation company.
Silvia stressed that the whole process would be carried out in compliance with the prevailing rules, with the company consulting the Jakarta Parks and Urban Forestry Agency prior to commencing the removal of the greenery.
“We have examined the trees and reported to the Jakarta Parks and Urban Forestry Agency to seek guidance on whether the trees should be replaced and what species [should be replanted],” Silvia told reporters recently.
Provisions for replanting are laid out in Jakarta Governor Decree No. 792/1997.
Meanwhile, the agency has identified 214 healthy trees that will be able to be transplanted, while another 653 trees in a poorer condition will need to be removed and replaced with 1,863 new trees.
A healthy tree is one that has a high chance of survival and a long lifespan.
At the Monas complex, which is one of the capital’s largest green spaces, the company will be replanting with trees that have a diameter of more than 40 centimeters, while trees that are to be replanted along Jl. MH Thamrin will range in size from 10-25 cm in diameter.
The trees that are to be chopped down because of their poor condition or short lifespan will be brought to the parks agency’s lumber yard in Pondok Pinang, South Jakarta, for processing. “They will be processed so as to provide added value, instead of just being disposed of,” Silvia said.
The trees that potentially have a longer lifespan will be relocated to the southern side of the Monas complex and a forest nursery in Srengseng, West Jakarta, that is managed by the agency.
Twelve types of trees will be replanted by MRT Jakarta including trembesi (Albizia saman), tabebuya (Handroanthus chrysotrichus), bungur (Lagerstroemia sp.), pulai (Alstonia scholaris), damar (Dipterocarpaceae sp.) and flamboyan (Delonix regia).
The entire process will require approximately Rp 5 billion (US$339,170), said MRT Jakarta president director William Sabandar.
Besides land acquisition, upholding environmental sustainability and the preservation of cultural heritage sites will continue to be crucial aspects in the development of the MRT line in Jakarta, which aims to create a total network of 240 kilometers of railway track over the next few years.
In the first phase of the MRT development, the company had to remove some 1,500 trees along its planned route.
Earlier this year, city authorities were on the receiving end of criticism over the removal of hundreds of trees in the Monas complex.
However, Jakarta is beginning to gain global recognition in its efforts to implement sustainable development in transportation, as it embarks on a long-term plan to develop integrated transportation systems.
The development of MRT phase 2A in Jakarta spans 5.8 kilometers from Bundaran HI Station in Central Jakarta to the Kota Tua district in West Jakarta, consisting of seven underground stations. It is scheduled to be completed by March 2026.
The phase 2B plan will add two elevated stations from Kota to the train depot in Ancol, North Jakarta.
Construction officially commenced on July 15 when the contractor started work on contract package 201 – the construction of a 2.67-kilometer underground tunnel between the Bundaran HI and Monas stations. It is scheduled to be completed within five years.
The Jakarta Transportation Agency has partly closed one lane on either side of Jl. MH Thamrin, which are impacted by the project, starting from in front of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) building and heading north until the Bank Indonesia complex, and from in front of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry heading south until the Thamrin 10 building on the other side of the road.