Fri, 19 Aug 1994

Gas station owners not informed of relocation plan

JAKARTA (JP): An executive of the gas station owners' association said that the union has not received official notice from the city administration about the planned relocation of gas stations which occupy areas formerly designated for use as parks.

A.S. Siregar, the chairman of the Jakarta chapter of the National Association of Private Oil Companies (Hiswana Migas), told The Jakarta Post yesterday that he only became aware of the municipal administration's plan from newspapers.

"We have not yet received a definite schedule of the relocation programs," said Siregar, suggesting that the city administration discuss the issue first with the state-owned oil company, Pertamina.

But Siregar said that the association would support any policy adopted by the city administration about the relocation programs.

The issue of relocating public buildings from city parks, including gas stations, resurfaced recently after city officials and councilors underlined the necessity for an urgent solution to Jakarta's notorious air pollution problem.

Syamsir Alam, the head of the City Park Office, said earlier this week in a hearing with the City Council that all gas stations built on parks should be returned to their original function by 1998.

The relocation program, Syamsir said, is in line with the city administration's plan to convert some 6,500 hectares or 10 percent of Jakarta's total area into green zones by 2005.

At present 3,400 hectares of city land are classified as green areas.

In order to reach the target, Syamsir said that the municipal administration will not extend land use permits for gas stations whose permits have expired.

Siregar said that most gas stations built on green areas in the city belong to Pertamina.

"They have not been privatized yet," he added.

According to Siregar some city parks were converted to gas stations in the 1970s to meet the escalating demand for petrol caused by the rapid increase in private cars which followed the oil boom.

Pertamina was not available for comment.

The Ministry of Transportation reported last year that vehicle ownership in Jakarta, home to some 1.3 million private cars and 170,000 public vehicles, is growing at 5.1 percent annually.

Central Jakarta

In a related development, the Central Jakarta mayoralty administration announced this week that four gas stations, including two on Jl. Sumur Batu, one on Jl. Kwitang and another on Jl. Tanah Abang Timur, would be relocated to other parts of the city.

In a bid to smoothen the implementation of the relocation programs, the City Council has called on the city administration to cooperate with Pertamina.

Mansyur Achmad, the chairman of the City Council's commission D on development, said that the city has already converted 66 of 302 former green areas to their original functions.

The municipal administration has allocated Rp 150 million (US$69,100) in the current 1994/1995 fiscal year to return 14.34 hectares of former green areas to their intended functions. (09)