Wed, 16 Apr 2003

Land issue postpones JORR project

Muninggar Sri Saraswati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Jakarta residents who hope to see fewer traffic jams in the next few months with the completion of the first part of the Jakarta Outer Ring Road (JORR) will be disappointed, as the work has been halted due to a land dispute.

Toll road operator PT Jasa Marga received an order from the South Jakarta District Court on Tuesday to postpone construction of the Ulujami to Pondok Aren segment, the first part of JORR, pending settlement of the dispute.

The court is handling a lawsuit filed by the heirs of D.H. Aritonang, who have claimed ownership over almost 20,000 square meters of land in the project area.

The plaintiffs, comprising Aritonang's wife Interianna Sianturi, daughter Esther Juanita Aritonang and son Ruben Parulian Aritonang, have filed suit against PT Jasa Marga; its operational team; its developer, PT Sempurna Sentosa Abadi; the State Land Agency (BPN) and the Pesanggrahan district head.

According to the plaintiffs, neither D.H. Aritonang nor the members of his family had ever sold the land but they found out that it had been unlawfully claimed by Entong Kukuh of PT Sempurna Sentosa Abadi, the project developer.

The family demanded the court order the accused pay compensation for the land.

"The accused must cease project activities until the case is settled," said presiding judge Masykur.

Edi Broto, who leads the JORR project, said that the postponement would raise project costs.

"But what can we do? It's a court order," he said, saying that he had commenced preparations for road construction for the project on April 7.

Previously, PT Jasa Marga had scheduled all segments of the first part of JORR for completion by July 2003.

The other parts of the project, apart from Ulujami to Pondok Aren, are TMII Junctions to Ceger, East Jakarta; Ceger to Jl. Raya Hankam and Pondok Pinang to Veteran, South Jakarta.

The second part of JORR will be the Hankam to Jatiasih and Jatiasih to Cikunir segments, construction of which is planned to commence early in January 2004.