Thu, 05 Oct 2000

'Segara Anakan' project to be retendered

PURWOKERTO, Central Java (JP): The conservation project at the Segara Anakan Strait in Cilacap, Central Java, will have to be retendered due to alleged corruption, collusion and nepotism (KKN), an official says.

Jurgen Saeger, leader of the team of consultants to the project told The Jakarta Post here on Wednesday that the funding agency, the Asian Development Bank, had recommended the rebidding of the project.

The rebidding would possibly be opened this month, in the hope that the contract could be signed in November, he said, without specifying the nature of the KKN.

The alleged malfeasance was reportedly conducted by the local Public Works Office.

A special team in charge of supervising the tender announced in April that there was nothing wrong with the bidding process.

According to Saeger, land acquisition still posed another serious problem to the project. He made the statements on the sidelines of a two-day meeting on the project which started here on Tuesday.

Locals said that a resident, who possessed 50 hectares of land, asked the project management to buy his land for Rp 35,000 per square meter, but the project management had not yet decided.

Segara Anakan, which covers a total area of 34,018 hectares, is a part of a strait separating the island Nusa Kambangan from the town of Cilacap.

Chronic sedimentation has almost joined Nusa Kambangan with Central Java, and this is concerning environmentalists.

The sedimentation has caused certain species of fish and other animals to vanish. Thousands of local fishermen have also stopped fishing.

The conservation project will cover an area of at least 400 hectares, with the dredging of Segara Anakan Strait and the building of a connecting passage to the river of Citanduy.

The rehabilitation of 1,125 hectares of mangrove forest in the area and the conservation of a 1,800 hectare lagoon will also be part of the project.

A staff member of the Project Management Office, Supriyanto, said the project might start by January 2002. "By then the sediment would have reached seven million cubic meters. Last year we estimated the sediment was about 4.5 million cubic meters."

The project cost would consequently be higher, he said. "The project would have cost some Rp 83 billion with the first calculation, and the cost would reach Rp 126 billion after the retender." Supriyanto said that the project cost would increase following the hike in fuel prices.

Conflict of interest between Central Java administration and West Java administration has halted the creation of the connecting passage at the mouth of Citanduy River at the Segara Anakan Strait.

Part of the strait officially belongs to West Java administration. (45/sur)