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The Magnet Effect of Jakarta Bay Reclamation
Wednesday, 06 May, 2015 | 08:30 WIB
The Magnet Effect of Jakarta Bay Reclamation

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta -Jakarta's development is set to move northwards towards the bay in the next five years the the current administration gears up to reclaim 17 islands in the Jakarta Bay - a project that is slated to be completed by 2020. "The islands could be utilised 10 years after the reclamation is completed," said the Head of the Governor's Development Acceleration Team, Sarwo Handayani, said on Thursday last week.

The 17 islands that will be reclaimed will add around 5,100 hectares of usable plots - an area which is equivalent to the total area of Central Jakarta between Semanggi and Matraman. Once complete, Jakarta Bay will lose around 10 percent of its total area.

According to Sarwo, the islands will be develop into centres of industries, trade, and waste management, while several others will be used as residential areas. In the scheme that has been prepared by the government, said Sarwo, eight islands to the west of the Bay will be set aside for residential, tourism, trade and retail centres, while five islands in the middle of the Bay will used as an international commerce zone. Meanwhile, four islands in the eastern part of the Bay will be used as centres for industries, port, and warehouses.

To date, eight companies have already expressed their interest in using the islands as their bases - in addition to the Jakarta Administration, which has the rights to three islands in the eastern side of the bay and state-shipping company, PT Pelindo, which has requested the use of the remaining island in the east. The others are private companies which has requested and acquired the reclamation rights since 1985 - which includes Taman Harapan Indah, a subsidiary of Intiland Group, which has began to expand its reach into Jakarta's coastal area, even going as far as marketing several properties on H Island in the middle of the bay.

According to Sarwo, the decision to allow reclamation to begin because the concentration of development in southern Jakarta has caused the area to be oversaturated with properties - whereas the growth in other parts of the capital has rather stagnated in recent years. "The new islands will be a magnet for investors, as it offers brand new areas that could utilised for many purposes," said Sarwo.

The Head of Jakarta's Development and Planning Board, Tuty Kusumawati, explained that initially the reclaimed areas were not intended to be separated from the mainland to form islands. However, extensive government research into the issue concluded that it will compound Jakarta's perennial flooding issues - as such, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono created a regulation that necessitated the separation of at least 200-300 metres between the Islands and the mainland. "The inter-island gap will function as a part of Jakarta's flood mitigation system," said Tuty.

The regulation also stated that once the reclamation is completed, the developers will be obligated to handover five percent of the total areas being reclaimed to the government, as well as to construct inter-island road networks, and designated 45 percent of the islands to be used as public open areas, waste management sites, and coastal border areas. Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama has called on the developers to obey the regulations because they will have the Lamd Cultivation Rights Title - which will be valid for 30 years. "We will strip them of such rights should they fail to do so," he said.

The reclamation project will be integrated with the Jakarta Giant Sea Wall project, which is currently being worked on by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. According to Ahok, both projects complement each other. "The wall will protect the islands from erosion," he said.

The space between the islands and the seawall will work as a reservoir for industrial runoff and as well as serve as the source of clean water for residents of Jakarta. The problem, according to urban planning expert from Trisakti University Nirwana Yoga, is that problems upstream should be handled prior to the completion of the islands and the seawall. "If not, the reservoir will turn into a cesspool of wastes and runoffs," he said.

According to Yoga, the normalisation of the thirteen rivers and creeks which criss-crosses Jakarta and the 205 dams and reservoirs which dots the capital is far more important that the reclamation project. "The Administration should not be selling the islands and properties under the guise of environmentalism," he said.




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