Regent blamed for lake conversion
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

The Tangerang regency legislative council has demanded Regent Ismet Iskandar take responsibility to the reclamation of Cileduk artificial lake by the developer of the Pamulang Square shopping mall.

Council Deputy Speaker Arief Wahydu said last week that the project would not continue without the regent’s approval.

“The regent should take legal measures against the developer, whose project had worsened flooding in the regency,” he said.

Ismet’s administration had earlier issued an ordinance on lake and river management that prohibited the construction of any building within 50 meters of riverbanks or lakes.

The new shopping center is about 30 meters from the lake.

Last month, the regency administration demolished the stalls of flower vendors located around the lake.

Separately, Ismet said the precise location of the shopping center was not known when his administration issued its building permit.

“I admit there was a lack of control and monitoring from my office that allowed the developer to violate regulations.”

He added that he had summoned the developer to discuss the problem.

“We can not force the developer to demolish the shopping mall, which will create a lot of jobs. Thus, we’re waiting for them to do it by themselves,” Ismet said.

Mursan Sobari, supervisor of development at the regency building and resettlement agency, said that the construction was not in line with the site plan the developer had filed when it applied for the building permit.

“We found later that the construction was very close to the lake,” he told The Jakarta Post.

Pamulang Square’s marketing manager Abdullah said that there was nothing wrong with the shopping mall.

“It is impossible for us to breach the site plan, since it was made by the administration and signed by the regent,” he said, adding that it was the administration’s fault for issuing the building permit.

He denied that the developer had stolen land on the lake’s bank for the construction of the 6,234-square-meter mall, which will consist of 304 kiosks, a supermarket, 10 food courts and a parking lot for 500 cars and 1,000 motorcycles.