Sat, 27 Jul 1996

Kali Opak people upset over demolition plan

JAKARTA (JP): About 100 residents of the Kali Opak riverbank in Penjaringan subdistrict, North Jakarta, yesterday filed a complaint over a demolition plan.

The residents' spokesman, Edi Suwarto, said residents were never consulted about the North Jakarta mayoralty's plan.

"The mayoralty only sent an order to demolish our houses," Edi said. He said the order issued by the Penjaringan district also contained a threat that the mayoralty will destroy their homes if residents refuse to do so.

"We are afraid to lose our homes. We don't know where to go because we don't want to go back to our hometowns," Edi told the council's commission A for government affairs.

"The district chief said the demolition will be conducted on Monday," he said.

Edi said that there are more than 4,000 people residing on a one-hectare plot, including some who have lived there for 20 years.

The demolition is part of a plan to cleanup the Opak River. The program also includes the upgrading of the Museum Bahari and the Pasar Ikan areas.

The residents acknowledged their homes stand on government property. They also said they do not oppose the cleanup plan.

"We are willing to leave as long as the mayoralty pays compensation for the land," Edi said.

He said residents want the amount of the compensation to be determined based on the land value set by the tax office.

During the hearing the deputy chairman of the commission, Fattommy Ansaari, contacted the North Jakarta mayoralty.

"The mayoralty has not yet scheduled the demolition plan," Fattommy said after making the call.

The order was sent to notify the residents about the plan and urge them to demolish their houses themselves, he said.

He added that the mayoralty has allocated funds to pay compensation.

"It's better for you to go to the district head and tell him the mayoralty office has not yet established a demolition date," he told the residents. (yns)