Thu, 18 Aug 1994

Jakarta receives award for achievement in development

JAKARTA (JP): Jakarta has been named a recipient of the long awaited Parasamya Purnakarya Nugraha, a meritorious award given to provinces for the most outstanding achievement in development over the past five years.

Jakarta has competed for the award along with Indonesia's 26 other provinces for 20 years.

A Presidential Decree, a copy of which was made available to The Jakarta Post, stated that the country's capital -- which is regarded as a province -- deserved the award for its achievements during the Fifth Five Year Development period from April 1989 to April 1994.

The exact date for the presentation of the award, usually done by President Soeharto, has not yet been announced.

The award was introduced in the late 1960s by the Central government to encourage provinces to compete in development but Jakarta has never won it, although it has been nominated several times as a recipient of the five-yearly award.

The previous recipients of the award include East Java, Central Java, West Sumatra and West Java.

In the past Jakarta was not even included in the top three provinces as runner-up for the award. It was in this last five- year period that the overpopulated city was considered worthy of being nominated as one of the top ten provinces.

One of several points evaluated in determining whether a province deserves the award is how a province organizes its administrative affairs.

Soedradjat Nataatmadja, the inspector general of the Ministry of Home Affairs, who led the 11-member Parasamya Purnakarya Nugraha evaluation team, earlier praised Jakarta for its outstanding achievements in development during the past five years.

Soedradjat cited as an example the success of Jakarta in regreening programs through the "Plant One Million Trees Movement", a bold program initiated last year by Governor Surjadi Soedirdja in order to make Jakarta a garden city.

Seventy percent of the trees planted in the regreening campaign were donated by the public.

"It is proof that amid individualistic lifestyles, Jakartans still have a good sense of belonging to their city," Soedradjat said.

Plus point

This "plus" point could increase Jakarta's chance of winning the award, said Soedradjat at that time, adding that from direct field observations, it could be concluded that the city administration was ready to snatch the prize.

Another plus point, according to Soedradjat, is the city's population management.

Managing a diversified, multi-ethnic population is not an easy task, but according to the team's evaluation, Jakarta is doing a good job.

Soedradjat also praised the City Council which, according to him, responds to the demands of the public.

Soedradjat acknowledged, however, that the present evaluation system limits the chances of younger, less developed provinces -- such as Irian Jaya and East Timor to win the five-yearly award because developed provinces who have won the award, i.e. West, Central and East Java and West Sumatra, are still allowed to take part in the competition. (arf)