Mon, 24 Jan 2000

City to reevaluate analysis of PIK

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso has said that the city administration would reevaluate the environmental impact analysis of the Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) housing complex in North Jakarta following speculative reports of its role in the flood on the Soekarno-Hatta Airport toll road last month.

"The reevaluation is necessary to assess the real cause of the flood and to get a more objective picture of PIK's impact on its surroundings," he told reporters at City Hall on Friday.

"Had the PIK developer met all the technical and environmental requirements to develop the area? Did the PIK management make any effort to prevent any environmental damages?" he added.

He said the city administration would set up a reevaluation team on PIK, while Deputy Governor for Development Affairs Budihardjo Sukmadi and City Secretary's Assistant for Administration and Development Affairs Ongky Sukasah would lead the team.

"I also have ordered the City Planning and the City Development Supervision Agencies to reevaluate the spatial planning in the area. I want to know whether PIK is appropriate in the area or not," the governor said.

Sutiyoso vowed to make a prudent decision should the evaluation results put PIK in the wrong position.

"We can't make emotional and hasty decisions on such an important matter," he said in response to calls to demolish the housing complex.

"I can simply order it done, but is it the best way?"

He said all rehabilitation construction on the toll road would start on April 1.

Earlier on Thursday, Ongky met the City Council's Commission D for Development Affairs discussing the presence of the housing complex. Present at the meeting were several heads of city agencies related to the project.

The cause of the recent flood had become a debated issue among environmentalists and city officials. Some blamed the housing complex for the flood, while others blamed different factors.

Head of City Environmental Impact Management Agency Aboejoewono said the arguments should be aimed at achieving a common perception of how to solve the problem and to prevent it from happening again in the future.

"It's better to find a way to avoid the flood rather than to find who to blame," he said.


On the other hand, Aboejoewono questioned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga for its failure to submit an Environmental Impact Analysis on the toll road project to the environmental impact management agency as required by the regulations.

"We need to study the analysis to get a better picture of the environmental conditions in the area," he said.

Ongky said the city administration had ordered the PIK developer, PT Mandara Permai, to do additional work to help overcome the flood.

"They will rehabilitate the mangrove forest along the coastline, five kilometers long and 100 meters wide, to the Tangerang borderline. It's expected to retain more water," he said.

Head of City Public Works Agency Fadly Khatib said his agency would continue the construction of a 6-meter wide canal linking the Kamal and the Tunjungan rivers.

"We will build canals on each side of the toll road," he said, while citing the current construction on the northern side.

"We will also widen the Kamal River to 45 meters from six meters and Tunjungan River to 35 meters from two meters," he added.

He said PT Jasa Marga had agreed to build bridges crossing both rivers.

Most councilors, however, were dissatisfied with the officials' statement and demanded a more thorough solution to the problem.

Commission D deputy chairman, Saud Rachman, suggested that the city administration should simply build an elevated toll road on the inundated spots.

"It is also important to ask former city administration officials who are suspected to have been involved in granting permits to the PIK development project," he said.

Saud also agreed to punish the developer by ordering them to construct more works to avoid floods.

"But we have to audit carefully the contributions they make to rehabilitate the area," he said.

Councilor Bimo Hastoro said it was important for developers to think about the people in the surrounding areas who might be affected by the development.

"The developer also has to construct necessary public works to compensate for the ecological changes they've made," he said.

Separately, the Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI) calculated that the area could retain more than nine million cubic meters of water previous to the development of PIK. The capacity shrank to only one-third or some three million cubic meters after construction. (05)