Thu, 30 Aug 2001

City Hall told to halt demolition

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration is facing opposition to its plan to demolish a building constructed illegally within the Bung Karno Sports Complex, Central Jakarta, after the City Council reneged on its support of the administration's decision.

Commission B for economic affairs recommended that the administration suspend demolition of the building until the administration and the Bung Karno Sports Complex management reached agreement about the issue, the commission's deputy chairman, Agung Imam Soemanto, said here on Wednesday.

"I blame the administration for the problem, because it only decided to demolish it after construction was 50 percent complete," he said during a meeting with Ongki Sukasah, the development administration assistant with the city administration.

The owner of the building, PT Anggara, received a permit in June from the management of the Bung Karno Sports Complex to build a temporary building on a 7,000-square-meter site as an exhibition center for small and medium businesses.

However, the company proceeded to build a permanent structure, using concrete and steel, which requires a building permit from the city administration.

Previously, Agung expressed his support for the administration's policy, saying that PT Anggara had violated its permit conditions.

Agung now says that Commission B should see construction of the building as a way of helping small and medium businesses to exhibit their products at a lower cost in the complex, which is also home to the Jakarta Convention Center.

"The existing exhibition centers fail to accommodate the small and medium businesses," he said, adding that those companies could not afford to pay the rate for leasing exhibition space in Kemayoran or the Jakarta Convention Center.

But Ongki insisted that the administration would demolish the building because the area where it is constructed should only be used for sports activities.

The administration commenced demolition of the building two weeks ago but stopped before it was completely demolished.(04)