Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Certain ministers have the authority to cancel the reclamation project that has violated the existing regulations, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli stated.

"Every minister has the authority that is protected by the law. For instance, a seaport comes under the authority of the transportation minister, maritime areas fall under the authority of the maritime affairs and fisheries minister, while matters related to environment come under the authority of the environmental affairs and forestry minister," Ramli remarked here, Wednesday.

The minister made the statement in response to a report claiming that Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) had sent a letter to President Joko Widodo regarding Minister Ramlis decision to cancel the reclamation project of G Island in the Jakarta Bay area.

The minister was taken aback by Ahoks reaction, which he considered as "mushy" for complaining about the matter to the president.

Earlier, Ahok, in his letter to the president, had questioned Minister Ramlis statement at a recent press conference announcing the cancellation of the reclamation project.

The reclamation was carried out based on Presidential Decree No. 52/1995, so only the president could cancel the project and not a minister, Ahok claimed.

On June 30, Minister Ramli announced the cancellation of the G island reclamation project in Jakarta Bay, saying that the implementation of the project was a serious offense.

The reclamation project would endanger the environment, sea traffic, and vital projects, Ramli informed the press.

"The joint committee of ministers agrees that the G island reclamation project is a serious offense," Ramli stated in connection with the controversial reclamation project on the northern beach of Jakarta.

Ramli noted that the project was categorized as a serious offense as the state electricity company PT PLNs electrical cables ran under the island projects site.

"The island would also hinder the movement of fishing vessels. Before the island was made, fishing boats could easily reach Muara Angke. However, now, fishing vessels have to make a detour, costing them more fuel," he pointed out.

The minister said that based on the joint committees analysis, the G island has been arbitrarily built, and it would damage the environment and harm the marine biota.

"Therefore, we decided to permanently cancel the G island reclamation project," he affirmed.

It was also decided that during the implementation of C, D, and N island projects, some moderate offenses had been committed by the developers and were required to only conduct minor repairs and dismantling.

The C and D islands, which are almost a single land mass, need to be separated by a canal that is at least 100 meters wide and at least eight meters deep to facilitate the movement of vessels.

The N island, which is part of the Kalibaru port project of state-owned port operator Pelindo II, was considered to be a technical environmental offense.

"The developer has agreed to mend the damage, so the implementation of the project is allowed to continue," Ramli affirmed.

Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti stated that all members of the joint committee had applied their respective skills and had taken the best possible decisions.

The Corruption Eradication Commission had found irregularities in the implementation of the Jakarta Bay reclamation projects.

Several government officials, including members of the Jakarta city council, have been named suspects and arrested on charges of corruption.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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