Wed, 24 Mar 1999

City to launch clean air project

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration and the Swisscontact foundation of Switzerland have joined forces to implement a clean air project worth Rp 7.5 billion, with the aim of lowering fuel consumption and vehicle emissions in the capital.

A cooperation agreement for the project was signed on Monday by Prawoto S. Danoemihardjo, head of the regional environmental impact management agency (Bapedalda) and Hugo Sager and Peter Bissegger of the Swiss foundation for technical cooperation.

Commencing on April 9, the project will train employees of vehicle repair shops in inspection and maintenance of vehicle systems.

Project manager, Sager, said 200 vehicle repair shops, equipped with emission test machines and staffed by skilled employees, would be involved in the project.

"The 200 repair shops comprise about 300 repair shops which have been equipped with emission test machines in the city," he said, adding that many employees were reluctant to use them due to lack of information.

Sager said the project would be totally funded by a Swiss government grant scheme.

"Swiss people are concerned about environmental affairs, as pollution in all countries will impact other inhabitants -- we only have one earth," he said.

Jakarta's air quality has been declining over the last few years. It is estimated that 70 percent of the pollution originates from vehicular emissions, Bapedalda's release said.

Prawoto said that in the first stage, only private car owners would be obliged annually to undergo emission tests and vehicle maintenance.

In the future, emission test certificates would be one of the requirements to obtain or extend vehicle ownership documents, he said. (ind)