Tue, 08 Feb 2000

Sutiyoso unhappy with street beautification

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso told the City Park Agency on Monday to conduct an integrated design and plan for the city's major streets beautification project.

"The city administration has allocated Rp 3.2 billion (US$ 421,000) to beautify the city with parks. Unfortunately, I can't see the results at all," he told the agency's head, Syafril Zainuddin, after inspecting a street beautification project along Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta.

The agency reported that it had built numerous parks as part of the city beautification project to restore the damage from 1998's and last year's riots.

"That's why I then ordered the agency to concentrate on major streets. This will allow me to monitor the progress," he said, citing that the beautification of the 4.6-kilometer-long Jl. M.H. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman would cost some Rp 2.25 billion.

Some Rp 700 million of the fund will be used to beautify the 1.6-kilometer Jl. M.H. Thamrin median, and another Rp 200 million for its lane separator.

Another Rp 650 million was allotted for the beautification of the 1.5-kilometer long section of Jl. Sudirman between the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and the Semanggi cloverleaf.

Meanwhile, the second section between the Semanggi cloverleaf and the Pemuda (Youth) monument will cost some Rp 700 million.

Sutiyoso expressed his disappointment after he discovered Jl. M.H. Thamrin was planted with numerous types of low shrubs.

"You must plant attractive and colorful flowers to reflect the city's image as a beautiful metropolis. Look at those shrubs. They don't give any impression at all," he said, while ordering Syafril to change the plants.

"The agency must be able to create a beautiful park once and for all with such a huge budget. We will then be able to expand the beautification project to other parts of the city," he said.

The city administration would provide only the maintenance costs for the incoming years, he added.

Earlier in the morning, Sutiyoso told residents to utilize productive plants, such as fruit trees, on idle land.

"Greening the city with productive plants will double the benefits to the city, the air quality and the harvest," he said when harvesting Japanese hermada, a kind of sorghum, at a plantation on Jl. Kebon Melati, Central Jakarta.

Hermada is a multi-function cereal whose grains can be used to replace rice or wheat, and its blades of grass can be transformed into sweeps. The leaves can be used for cattle food while its stems can be processed into paper.

Central Jakarta Mayor Andi Subur Abdullah briefed Sutiyoso that there were some 60 hectares of idle land in Central Jakarta. (05)