Fri, 21 Mar 2003

Land reclamation in Jakarta

This is to remind Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso, who is going ahead with the Jakarta reclamation project, that even he knows the environmental impact assessment has elaborated the consequences in detail.

The front page of the March 11 edition of The Jakarta Post mentioned the details of the impact and those who rejected the plan, including the minister of environment, the director general overseeing spatial planning at the Ministry of Resettlement and Regional Infrastructure and, of course, some non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Sutiyoso has probably forgotten about last year's floods, the city's worst, with material losses hitting Rp 6 trillion, which would have made it impossible for him to retain his governorship without the backing of President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Although he mentioned Singapore and Tokyo as examples, he did not realize that topographically Jakarta is not fit for reclamation, as the Pantai Indah Kapuk luxury housing project was one of the culprits behind last year's flooding.

M. RUSDI Jakarta