House OKs funds for flood control programs
City News – March 06, 2007

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The House of Representatives and the central government have agreed to fund a range of projects to provide long-term flood-protection for thousands of families.

The projects include the construction of dams, lakes and the East Flood Canal, as well as the revitalization of rivers.

“Funding has been allocated in the state budget for multiyear commitments until 2009,” Akhmad Muqowam, who sits on House of Representatives Commission V for public works, said Monday during a hearing.

“High priority projects will be listed when budget adjustments are made mid this year.”

For the East Flood Canal project, the central government — through the Public Works Ministry — has agreed to fund the canal’s construction, while the city administration is responsible for the land acquisition process.

The project, which is scheduled for completion by 2010, requires a total investment of Rp 3.8 trillion. The canal will cut through Cipinang, Sunter and Cakung rivers.

The ministry has proposed the central government allocate Rp 2 trillion for construction work, with the Jakarta administration contributing the remaining Rp 1.8 trillion.

Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto said the construction itself needed Rp 2.5 trillion.

Governor Sutiyoso, who also attended the hearing Monday, said the administration was aiming to acquire all land for the project by the end of the year.

“We will focus on the East Flood Canal project, and hopefully the land acquisition process will be over before Jakarta has a new governor,” said Sutiyoso who finishes his term in August.

As of today, only a 7.7-kilometer stretch of the 23.7-km canal has been completed.

For the construction of dams, including those located outside the city, the Jakarta administration will cooperate with West Java and Banten provinces.

More than 80 people died in last month’s floods, which affected between 45-75 percent of the city. Sixty-five others died of flood-related illnesses, including leptospirosis, a disease spread by rats.

Besides the flood recovery projects, the city administration is also planning to relocate 71,000 families from riverbanks to low-cost apartments built by the Public Housing Ministry.

Public Housing Minister Muhammad Yusuf Asyari said the ministry would build 725 apartment blocks at a total cost of Rp 6.5 trillion. Each block could accommodate 100 families. (04)