Thu, 10 Jul 2003

'River transportation idea is foolish'

The City administration's plan to provide a river transportation system for Jakartans is still being studied for feasibility. The city's public works agency is tasked with preparing a section of the Ciliwung river, from Pasar Baru in Central Jakarta, to Ancol in North Jakarta, as part of a wider transportation system. The Jakarta Post talked to people on the issue.

Mamat, 40, is a sidewalk vendor who sells soft drinks at Pasar Baru. He lives nearby with his wife and two children:

The idea of developing a river transportation system is funny and foolish. The Ciliwung river has sharp bends, making it impossible to be used for transportation.

The administration also has to make bridges higher to enable boats to pass under them. There are bridges all over the city, it would cost a lot of money.

It's just a crazy idea.

I think it's better for the city officials to find solutions to the problem of floods in the city instead of coming up with such ideas.

There's no clean water in rivers in the city. People dump their waste in the rivers and they remain prone to flooding.

Dwi, 33, is a technician working at restaurant nearby the Ciliwung river in Pasar Baru, Central Jakarta. He lives with his family in Manggarai, South Jakarta:

Well, to some extent the idea is quite good but it's a bit ridiculous.

It's difficult to make it a reality in the next few years due to technicalities. It would take a long time and a huge budget to finance the project.

Surely it isn't simple. The administration has failed to cope with the problem of floods. It should work out the flood problem before executing such a foolish plan.

I think the idea could be prone to fraud due to the big amount of money involved.

Rivers in Jakarta need to be widened and dredged. What about the fate of squatters living along the riverbanks? They would have to be evicted and that would spark unexpected social problems for sure.

It's better for the officials to think about those living on low incomes. They should think about the hardship of their lives rather than coming up with unfeasible ideas.

Surkon, 23, is a taxi driver who resides in Jl. Pramuka, East Jakarta with his relatives:

The idea sounds ridiculous and the administration officials who propose the idea even more so. Why should they make such unrealistic plans when they can't even handle traffic problems properly?

They would need so much money to realize the plan, it seems impossible.

What would happen to the poor living along the riverbanks?

The administration knows that the rivers are narrowing and disappearing in parts. If it uses the rivers for transportation, do you think there will be enough water in the rivers for the boats to float on?

-- Leo Wahyudi S.