Tue, 04 Sep 2001

Construction permit for skyscrapers to be reviewed

JAKARTA (JP): The government will review construction permits issued for high-rise buildings built on disputed land or green belt areas, Minister of Resettlement and Regional Infrastructures Soenarno said on Monday.

The minister noted that many high-rise buildings in Jakarta and surrounding areas had been built on green belt areas or on land earmarked for other purposes.

Many other buildings, Soenarno said, had violated the national building standards. For instance, they have no emergency exits, fire extinguishers or helicopter landing pad for evacuation in case of fires and earthquakes.

"We will likely review permits the government has issued for construction projects that have violated the law and national standards," he said after attending a plenary session of the House of Representatives, held to discuss the construction bill.

During the plenary session, all House factions gave their support for the bill, submitted by the government on May 21, 2001.

Soenarno, however, refused to say whether the government would take action against those buildings that had violated spatial zoning or national standards.

He only said that the government would tighten the issuance of permits for construction of buildings, especially high-rise buildings, in urban areas.

The minister said uncontrolled issuance of permits for high- rise buildings had caused a deterioration of the environment in big cities like Jakarta.

"The government has no alternative but to tighten the issuance of permits for all kinds of construction to make urban areas a more humane and environmentally friendly place to live," he said.

Soenarno said the government would also tighten the issuance of permits for housing projects as many developers had broken their agreements on building quality standards.

"Most of modest houses built in housing subdivisions in Jakarta and its outskirts have been renovated by their owners because developers have frequently violated the national standards in developing their housing projects," he said. (rms)