Wednesday, 25 July, 2012 | 14:10 WIB
Public Works Ministry Point to Intervention in Water Company Operations
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Ministry of Public Works believes that many regional administrations intervene in the operations and the workings of state-owned water company PDAM. As a result, according to Director General of Cipta Karya, Budi Yuwono, it is difficult for people to get clean water.
"The forms of intervention vary, there is a levy rate that is too high or prioritizing policies perceived to be populist such as low prices in the hope people will like it," Budi told Tempo at his office on Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
Budi says cheap rates do not necessarily guarantee people’s welfare because in the end PDAM will suffer losses. Basically, local governments should just set reasonable rates.
According to him, as a result of such interventions, of the 452 branches or units of the company, only 152 units are relatively healthy in financial terms. Cities with good water management are Surabaya, Palembang, Banjarmasin, and Malang.
Governments must pay more attention to the needs of the community for clean water supply. These days pemda has no excuse to say they do not have any funds for clean water supply.
"Local governments can borrow from a bank for a clean water supply project with a 6 percent interest," said Budi. The loan will hopefully enable pemda and PDAM to explore undistilled water with technological innovations.
The Ministry itself is currently conducting its own pilot project, which is transforming sea water into suitable water for use in Mandangin Island, East Java. Investments in the project are up to Rp11 billion.
"If the evaluation results of this project are good, the same will be done in other areas, so water needs can be met by using sea water," added Budi. SYAILENDRA