Wed, 24 Dec 2003

Three injured in clash over Bojong dump

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor

Three residents were injured during a clash with police officers during a rally opposing the installment of a waste processing facility for Jakarta in Bojong subdistrict, Bogor regency.

Nuryati, 27, Cecep, 23, and Yanto, 22, suffered minor lacerations and bruises on their heads, and were treated by their families.

Bogor Police arrested Kambalin, Misar, Andi and Rohim at the rally for further questioning, but provided no further information.

Hundreds of residents, mostly housewives, stood in front of the plot in Bojong allocated for Jakarta's new dump, trying to block the trucks that had been carrying materials for the waste processing facility since noon. The residents' rally was a response the Bogor administration's approval for Jakarta to dump its waste in the area.

"We opposed the dump in our subdistrict, as it will pollute the environment. We will stay here until tomorrow," said Naih Haryadi, 35, a prominent figure of the subdistrict.

Detectives from Bogor Police had asked Triasa Cahyo Putro, secretary of the Bogor Society Care for the Environment Communication Forum, to persuade the residents to disperse, but they refused.

The situation became heated at 4:05 p.m. when residents tried to block a truck delivering building materials at the entrance gate, and police officers tried to beat back the residents with their batons.

"The residents and police wrestled with each other, but we were too weak and the truck got through. Police arrested some of us," Naih said. "We don't even know what happen to Triasa."

The Bogor administration and PT Wira Gulfindo Sarana, which was appointed by Jakarta to manage the waste processing, have promised that the dump would use ball presses made using German technology to minimize environmental damage.

Even so, the planned Bojong dump can only accommodate 1,500 tons of Jakarta's 6,000 tons of daily waste.

Bogor is to receive an annual compensation of Rp 1 billion (US$117,647) from Jakarta for the land use.

The capital is facing a Dec. 31 deadline for the Bantar Gebang dump in Bekasi, which will close on that date. Bekasi refused to extend the dump contract, as Jakarta had damaged the environment and endangered the people's health by its poor management.

Bekasi received a Rp 22 billion compensation after it closed down the dump for several weeks at the end of 2001, also for environmental reasons. The dump was only reopened after President Megawati Soekarnoputri intervened.

Meanwhile, Bogor Police deputy chief Comr. Rusdi Hartono claimed he had yet to receive reports on the residents' rally.

"I will find out," he said.