Mon, 07 Jul 2003

Cikokol traders banned from rebuilding kiosks

The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The Tangerang municipal administration has prohibited hundreds of merchants in the Cikokol traditional market, whose shops burned down last week, from rebuilding their kiosks.

The city's legislative council is backing the administration's stance, saying the mayor should enforce the ban.

The council said the market was located in an area the city administration planned to turn into a "green zone".

"According to Bylaw No. 23/2000, the Cikokol area will be turned into the city's lungs, or a green area. Therefore, there can be no market there," Bambang Irawan, chairman of the council's Commission B for market affairs, said on Friday.

He said the Cikokol vendors could move to two new markets recently built by the government, located on Jl. Raya Sudirman in Tanah Tinggi subdistrict and next to the Poris Plawad bus terminal.

Bambang said the council would ask the administration to provide the merchants will reasonably priced kiosks in the new markets.

And the traders should be allowed to pay off their kiosks in installments, he said.

Another Commission B member, Djamaludin, said the city administration and the merchants should be made aware of their respective rights in order to smooth efforts to resolve the problem.

"The traders should get kiosks in a proper place that will not disturb public order. The Cikokol market should never have been opened. That is why they (the vendors) should be ready to be relocated to other areas.

"If some of the merchants have bought plots of land in the Cikokol market from local officials, please sue the (officials). We will help settle the problem," he said.

A number of traders in the Cikokol market oppose the administration's plan to relocate them to the two new markets, unless they are given special facilities to allow them to afford kiosks.

"We are ready to move to the Tanah Tinggi market or the Poris Plawad market, but how can we afford to buy kiosks there in cash? The city administration should give us credit," Solihin, one of the traders, said.

Fire swept through the Cikokol market last week. Many of the traders have speculated that it was deliberately set in order to close down the market.