Mon, 08 Nov 1999

Tangerang cautious over dump site plan

TANGERANG (JP): Troubled with environmental damage caused by the Bantar Gebang garbage dump in Bekasi, Tangerang administration is carefully considering the Jakarta administration's plan to move the dump site to the Ciangir area.

"We don't want the future dump site polluting the Ciangir neighborhood," Tangerang spokesman Slamet Putranto said on Thursday.

"So we will be very careful to avoid making any hasty decisions on this."

A team of experts was established to conduct a feasibility study on the planned transfer.

"The people around Ciangir must be notified of the plan. We do not want them to be the victims of a polluted environment," Slamet said.

Bekasi councilors have repeatedly asked the Jakarta administration to close the dump in Bantar Gebang, saying that it polluted the air and water which led to health problems, such as respiratory disease and skin infections, in the residents.

Slamet said the Tangerang administration would propose that the garbage be processed first before being dumped in Tangerang.

"This measure is to avoid an accumulation of garbage which will further lead to air pollution as well as spreading disease," he said.

The spokesman said the Tangerang administration would also discuss the matter with city councilors.

"Together we will visit Bantar Gebang to find out the real problems there," he said.

The Tangerang administration has not made any decision on the matter. Meanwhile, the Jakarta administration will probably cancel the plan after learning that the development of a substitute garbage dump site in Ciangir was not feasible.

Governor Sutiyoso said last September that "the opening of a new garbage dump will only move the same problems from Bekasi to Tangerang".

The Jakarta administration has then decided to allocate Rp 10 billion (US$1,428,571.40) for renovations at the Bantar Gebang dump, which was designed to contain Jakarta's 23,000 cubic meters of garbage per day until 2004. (41/edt)