Fri, 03 Dec 1999

City strives to adopt new underground utility system

JAKARTA (JP): City administration will require all construction contractors to deploy an integrated underground utility network system to develop the city's public utility system.

The deputy governor for development affairs, Budihardjo Sukmadi, said on Thursday that it was time to replace the old "open trench system", which was time-consuming and economically inefficient.

"Modern developed cities require an integrated and structured duct system, although it is expensive," Budihardjo said while addressing participants of a workshop on Thursday at City Hall on underground utility networks.

Ronny Trianggono, an executive of construction firm PT Virama Karya, said the integrated network system would save the city administration money in the long run.

"With the integrated underground utility network system, the city administration will not need to allocate the budget for any maintenance and construction projects of the public utility network," Ronny said.

He also said the new system would minimize the risks of traffic congestion, especially on busy streets.

"With the new system, construction workers will not need to dig up a big portion of the streets whenever there are new installation projects," he said.

The city administration has enacted several regulations on underground utilities, including Governor Decrees No. 439/1991 and No. 615/1999, both on the underground system construction for certain parts of the city.

Budihardjo said the city started deploying the integrated network system for the construction of public utilities on certain busy streets, instead of using the open trench system.

Currently, all public utility construction contractors use the open trench system to install the public utility network. The system has brought complaints from residents, citing the lack of coordination between units in the city administration.

Budihardjo, who is also chairman of the Underground Utility Network Coordinating Board (BKJS), said the city's basic public utility system, including the sewage management system, was one step behind the city's development.

"Yogyakarta has a more advanced sewage system than Jakarta," he said.

"If this condition continues, Jakarta will be deserted by its residents and no investors will come, due to the city's poor sanitary system."

He suggested that the city administration prioritize the establishment of the city's sewage management system.

"We can adopt the Australian system, where both government and private sectors are included in a partnership development system of an underground utility network," Budihardjo said.

"Actually, we have all the technology here. All we need is a form of partnership to build an integrated underground utility network," he added.

Head of the BKJS secretariat, Pudjo Priyo Santoso, said all public utility construction contractors were required to use the underground network in the future.

"This network will be able to accommodate all public utility systems," he said.

Head of the city's Bureau of Programs, which organized the workshop, Dedi M. Tisnamihardja, said the workshop was the first of its kind to include all involved sectors.

"It's important for the city administration, utility workers and consultants to share their vision on the matter," he said.

Dedi said workshop participants would be requested to formulate a proposal on an underground utility network.

"The proposal will be used for the future development of the city's public utilities," he said. (05)