Sat, 27 Aug 1994

New Taman Ria park planned at Pulo Mas dam

JAKARTA (JP): In a bid to meet the growing demand of Jakartans for recreational parks, the city administration will convert the 6.8 hectare man-made Pulo Mas dam and its surrounding areas in East Jakarta into a park.

"The park is designed to replace the Taman Ria park in Monas Square which was closed in 1991," said Sumari, the deputy chairman of the City Council's Commission C on finance.

The Taman Ria park, which occupied a 3.2 hectare area, has been converted into a green area along with a 22-hectare plot formerly used for the old Jakarta Fair Ground in line with the city administration's ambitious regreening program to make the whole area in Monas Square into a "lung" of the city.

City councilors, who inspected Pulo Mas dam on Thursday with city officials, have urged that the city administration build the project in cooperation with private developers to deal with budgetary constraints faced by the government.

In order to woo private developers to invest in the project, Sumari said that the city administration should give subsidies and other discount facilities if it wants the park area developed into a park quickly.

"Without subsidies from the government, the development of the project will be too costly for the developer," Sumari said.

The city administration, said Sumari, has fixed the land price of the site at Rp 410,000 (US$188) per square meter.

The area, 6.8 hectares of which is in the form of a pond, totals 25.6 hectares. Nine hectares will be used as a pond to hold water, especially during downpours, before it is channeled into the nearby Sunter river.

Given the large size of the land, the developer will have to pay around Rp 100 billion ($46 million) for the whole land, 35 percent of which is under water.

Isdarmadji, an executive director of the city-owned Pulo Mas Jaya Foundation, said that the developer found it hard to pay the same price for the submerged area and that it considers the initial investment as too high.

"Hence, we suggested that for instance, rather than requiring the developer to pay for the water area, the city administration still retain the ownership of the water area and lends it to the developer," Isdarmadji said.

Through a Gubernatorial Decree the city administration appointed PT Jaka Setia Sakti, a private property developer, to develop the 25.6-hectare plot of land, including the dam, in September 1992. But until now the company has not started with the development of the park due to the previous aforementioned problem.

Isdarmadji said that the city administration previously appointed PT Pembangunan Jaya, a joint-venture developer partially owned by the municipal administration, to develop the site but the company withdrew because according to its feasibility study the project was not economically feasible. (arf).