Wed, 19 Mar 2003

Sutiyoso bows to Bekasi dump demand

JAKARTA: Governor Sutiyoso agreed on Tuesday to the Bekasi mayoralty's demand that Jakarta pay to plant trees around the Bantar Gebang dump to help reduce pollution.

"Yes, I agree (with their demand). We will meet their demand gradually," said Sutiyoso.

The governor did not elaborate on when the trees would be planted.

The Bekasi mayoralty demanded on Monday that the Jakarta administration plant at least 30,000 trees to reduce air pollution around the dump.

Jakarta and Bekasi have been in a prolonged dispute over the dump since the Bekasi mayoralty banned Jakarta from using the dump at the end of 2001. The capital dumps about 25,000 cubic meters of trash at Bantar Gebang every day.

The ban only lasted several weeks before Bekasi relented and again allowed Jakarta to use the dump, after President Megawati Soekarnoputri intervened.--JP