Mon, 20 Nov 2000

Management shake-up proposed for Monas

JAKARTA (JP): The City Parks Agency has proposed an integrated system to properly manage the National Monument (Monas) park, dubbed as a landmark of the capital, as it is still in disorder due to the presence of too many street traders and a chaotic parking system, an official said.

The agency's chief, Dadang Ruskandar, said on Saturday that the proposal had been submitted to Governor Sutiyoso and that his office has agreed that all matters concerning the park, such as development, security and maintenance, be handled by a single agency.

"For years there have been at least three agencies managing the park and what we have seen is a permanent state of disorder there with street vendors everywhere and chaotic parking lots," Dadang told journalists at a ceremony marking the planting of some 1,000 trees in the park.

For many years the parking lots in the park had been handled by the city parking agency, the roads by the city public works agency, while the maintenance and beautification of the park was the responsibility of his office, Dadang said.

"Sometimes we made plans and decisions separately, so there have been no integrated regulations concerning the management of the park," he added.

"In the proposal, we have asked the city administration to establish a special board or appoint one of the agencies to be responsible so that we can have more integrated decision-making and an overall design for the capital's landmark," Dadang said.

For example, he explained that there would be special sites for street vendors, new parking regulations and that fences would be erected around the park so that vehicles could be kept out, as well as the imposition of restrictions on the playing of football inside the park's boundaries.

"If the park's management is under one office, we can arrange all that easily," Dadang said.

The 82-hectare park, the largest in the capital, is the site of the National Monument (Monas). A total of 750 trees have been planted as part of the city's ongoing efforts to spruce up the park.

The 132-meter monument itself was one of former president Soekarno's projects, and takes the form of a phallus with a flame on the top coated with 32 kilograms of pure gold, symbolizing Indonesia's courageous struggle.

The city administration spends Rp 360 million annually on the maintenance of the city's parks. Other projects, such as the planned construction of an underground parking lot, an amphitheater and the planting of various types of trees, have also been mooted so as to beautify the park.

For the 2000 fiscal year, the city administration has allocated Rp 7.3 billion to finance the park's regreening and management plan, the renovation of pedestrian areas, the erection of a statue of national hero Prince Diponegoro, kiosks for local street vendors and the construction of an amphitheater.

The planting of the trees worth Rp 100 million on Saturday morning was also witnessed by Governor Sutiyoso and was sponsored by Sony group, the giant electronics company from Japan.

In his speech, the governor said: "I will urge all companies to participate in such activities so as to help the city administration to maintain city parks." (dja)