"Whoever is to be elected to be the next governor would not dare to stop the project," Pangi Syarwi Chaniago, from the Jakarta State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, said
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Jakartas reclamation project could not be politically stopped by whoever is the next governor of Jakarta, an expert has said.

"Whoever is to be elected to be the next governor would not dare to stop the project," Pangi Syarwi Chaniago, from the Jakarta State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, said here on Saturday.

The project has been decided long time earlier and it is needed by the city, Pangi said, referring to a number of man made islands being built and to be built in the Jakarta Bay.

He said the issue of reclamation has been politically driven, adding barring the election there would be no issue of reclamation.

He said furor over the project is more politically motivated rather than by rationale ahead of the Jakarta gubernatorial election.

The Jakarta gubernatorial election to be contested by incumbent pair of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and Djarot Sjaiful Hidayat and Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno would held on April 19.

Ahok is for continuing the project, but Anies/Sandi accused the project of benefiting only the rich investors and harming the fishermen.

Pangi said the fact is there are 17 islands to be built under the reclamation program involving nine developers including state companies and ones owned by the city administration, he said.

He pointed out the Jakarta beach resort of Ancol Tourism Park and the New Tanjung Priok port are results of reclamation. Ancol is managed by PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk, which is owned by the Jakarta city administration. Ancol is a public company listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange. The New Tanjung Priok port is owned by the state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) II.

There was no furor when the beach resort area and the new port were built. In fact the Jakarta people take pride in the Ancol recreation center.

"Reclamation is already rolling. The implication would be extensive if it was stopped. The brisk protest against the project is only because of the gubernatorial election. I believe the issue would disappear by itself after the election," Pangi said.

The decision to stop reclamation would set the Jakarta city administration against the central government, he said.

In addition, the Jakarta city administration would be made busy dealing with floods of lawsuits filed by the developers charging the city with unilateral decision.

They would demand compensation for what they already spent on the project licensed by the city administration itself, he added.

Citing an example, he said developers already invested heavily in the development of the islands of C, D and G. Meanwhile the legal process would take a long time until it was final, he said.

While the issue is in the legal process, the reclamation would be in status quo and the condition would put both sides of political rivals in limbo, he said.

"If that is to happen it would be bad for everybody and a big blow to the reputation of the city and the country in the eye of investors," he said.

The city administration relied on big investors to finance the giant embankment project. Stopping the project would mean rejecting large investment while the country is working hard to attract investors.

Without the embankment North Jakarta would continue to risk floods of sea water at tidal waves every full moon.

Jakartas Giant Sea Wall

Earlier, the government through the Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Ministry announced plan to build a 120-kilometer long sea wall along the Jakarta beach areas.

"Currently construction is underway for 4.5 kilometers to be completed in 2018," PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said late last month.

The Minister said the Ministry had only an obligation to build 20 kilometers and the rest is to be built by private investors and the Jakarta city administration.

"Currently the ministry is studying the possibility of involving the private sector in financing the project. This is a project to save the beach areas , the second phase which is divided into two packages of work," he said.

The first package, 2.3 kilometers long, is in the Muara Baru are, Pluit, sub-district of Penjaringan, North Jakarta . The government already named PT Waskita Karya and PT Adhi Karya as the contractors with contract valued at Rp378 billion.

Construction in the first package has been 603 meters or 32 percent completed, the minister said.

The construction in the second phase, 2.2 kilometer long, is in Kali Baru area, sub-district of Cilincing. The project has been awarded to PT Wijaya Karya and PT SAC Nusantara with contract valued at Rp405 billion.

The Minister said the giant sea wall project is a long term program, to be integrated with the project of National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD), now being mulled over by the government. The plan is that the giant sea wall is to be built in cooperation with South Korea and the Netherlands.

The minister said the NCICD project would be more integrated as the purpose is not only prevent sea water floods. It would improve the quality of the environment of Jakarta . (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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