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29 May 2020 (closed)
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Although development of the 17 artificial islands off the coast of Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta has been suspended (for six months) due to alleged violations of and/or hiatuses in Indonesian law, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as Ahok) says he is certain that the ambitious land reclamation project will be continued after the moratorium. The construction of these 17 artificial islands is a project that is separate from (but highly integrated with) the central government's National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) plan, better known as the Great Garuda.
On Wednesday (27/04) a cabinet meeting was conducted related to this moratorium. Present at the meeting were Jakarta Governor Ahok, Indonesian Vice Minister Jusuf Kalla, Indonesian Chief Economics Minister Darmin Nasution, and various other ministers. One of the conclusion drawn at this meeting was that the combination of the high degree of private sector involvement in the project and the weak legal framework created by the government caused problems. The construction of the 17 artificial islands has been put on hold for a period of at least six months in order to provide time to authorities to re-design the legal framework.
Several weeks ago it was reported that Commission IV of Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) detected seven violations that have occurred surrounding the land reclamation project off the coast of Jakarta. This was reason to halt the project and focus on further investigation and analysis. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is a big supporter of the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) plan, said all involved ministries need to harmonize the legal framework before development can be resumed. Therefore, he will soon issue a presidential regulation that orders authorities to re-plan the land reclamation projects, harmonize regulations, ensure the integration between the 17 artificial islands and the NCICD plan, ensure the environmental sustainability of the the projects, ensure the welfare of local people (for example fishermen that will be affected by the projects as they will need to go further into the sea for their catch), and enhance the financial planning for the projects.
At the cabinet meeting ministers emphasized the importance of integrating the development of the 17 artificial islands with the government's NCICD plan. These 17 islands are a project led by the regional Jakarta administration and involves the development of islands for the purpose of residential and commercial development. Meanwhile, the NCICD is a central government project that involves the establishment of a giant sea wall northern of the bay in Jakarta aimed at protecting the capital city from floods. This giant sea wall is needed because the northern part of Jakarta is sinking at an alarming rate of around 10 centimeters each year, implying the area will be located below sea level by the year 2030, while river water of Jakarta's 13 rivers will be unable to flow into the bay of Jakarta.
In Wednesday's cabinet meeting there were no words spent on the position of the nine developers of the 17 islands. Previously, these developers had obtained permits from the Jakarta authorities. However, Commission IV claims that construction permits had been issued too soon without having a legal basis. There has been speculation that these permits may be revoked. The nine developers are Kapuk Naga Indah, Jakarta Propertindo, Muara Wisesa Samudra, Taman Harapan Indah, Jaladri Kartika Eka Paksi, Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, Manggala Kridha Yudha, Pelindo II, and the regional government of Jakarta.