Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government plans to build a waterway to divert excess Ciliwung river flow to the East Flood Control Canal(KBT) to reduce flooding in the capital city in the future, according to Djoko Kirmanto.

The public works minister said here on Monday the cost of the project was estimated at around Rp500 billion.

"In a meeting this morning at 8am with the President the budget for the project is estimated to reach that amount and it will be started this year," he said to newsmen after opening the national board meeting of the Indonesian National Contractors Association (Gapensi).

He said during the floods in the past few days in the capital city it was found that the West Flood Control Canal (KBB) had received too much water from the Ciliwung river while the newly-built East Flood Control Canal (KBT) was still below capacity.

"Therefore, an idea had emerged to divert some of Ciliwung river flow also to the KBT," he said.

He said the waterway project would be one of the programs prepared by the government until 2017/2018 to reduce the impact of flooding in Jakarta including normalizing the flows of 13 rivers passing through the city.

He said he is now preparing a team to design the waterway project in detail.

"In the exposition before the President yesterday there will be two alternatives namely building four lane 2.5 meter wide waterways or two lane four-meter wide waterways," he said.

He said the waterway would be around one meter below the existing streets.

The minister said however the government could not guarantee that Jakarta would be free of floods after the project was realized in the years to come.

He said although all programs including normalization of river flows would be completed in 2017-2018 no guarantee could be made if Jakarta would be free of floods later.

He added no big cities in the world also are not completely free of floods moreover Jakarta which is located below the sea level.

He said however that the programs had been made to reduce floods in the future including normalization of river flows and revitalization of small lakes.

"The total budget for them reaches Rp6.9 trillion and water pools in 67 locations out of 78 would be eradicated later," he said.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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