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MRT Continues without Change

 KOMPAS, 11 April, 2013, Page 26, Section: Metropolitan 

Some residents still demand underground construction

Jakarta, Kompas - Provincial Government of Special Capital Territory of Jakarta (DKI Jakarta) will resume the undertaking of the mass rapid transit project, despite continued rejection from some circles. According to plan, at the end of April, DKI Provincial Government will announce the winning bidders for the physical construction works.

Vice Governor of DKI Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Wednesday (10 April), said that there would be no change in the design of the mass rapid transit (MRT). "There will still be [a part to be constructed] in an elevated manner and there will be [a part that will be] constructed underground. For [the part] around Jalan Fatmawati, the design will still be elevated MRT. There is no change," he said.

Basuki said that the rejection by residents has been based on concerns that their neighbourhood would become derelict in the presence of the elevated MRT line, such as the case in the railway line in Juanda, Central Jakarta. Basuki would instead ask the residents to take care of the neighbourhood along the line, so as to prevent it from becoming rundown. 

"In Bangkok, the situation was the same. The line also crosses overhead and there has been no problem. Instead the land prices have risen. The coefficient of building area may also be higher," said Basuki.

At the end of April, DKI Jakarta Provincial Government will announce the tender winners of the project’s six physical construction work packages worth Rp 15 trillion. The winning bidders will work in collaboration with Japanese companies, namely Shimizu, Obayashi, and Tokyu, to build the MRT.

After winning the auction was announced, still need some time to process and document completion of an appeal against the results of the auction. When all the process is completed,  the MRT will begin to be built.

Physical construction of the MRT in Jakarta is divided into eight work packages, i.e. three underground construction packages, three elevated construction packages, and two packages for the procurement of the trains and systems (rolling stocks). The underground work packages will be done first because their undertaking will take more time.

Previously, DKI Jakarta Governor, Joko Widodo, said that the MRT construction could not wait any more. There had to be an immediate decision for the resumption of the project.

"If we only think about the people’s rejection, we cannot make a decision on the MRT. The MRT also will not run. For those residents who refuse it, we will continue to approach them," said Jokowi.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also told DKI Jakarta Provincial Government that they would help speed up the construction of the MRT. The MRT construction process has been quite protracted, especially after Jokowi questioned the sharing of loan repayment burden between DKI Jakarta Provincial Government and the central government.

After renegotiation, DKI shoulders 51 percent of the loan and the central government assumes 49 percent. Originally, DKI had to bear 58 per cent of the loan, while the central government would be responsible for 42 percent.

Amdal not valid
Residents in the areas of Lebak Bulus, Fatmawati, Panglima Polim, and Sisingamangaraja have continued to reject the elevated construction of the MRT line across their areas. The residents have demanded DKI Jakarta Provincial Government to build underground lines for all the MRT routes.

Alex from MRT Care said that the environmental impact assessment (Amdal) of the MRT does not pay attention to the potential loss of residents from various aspects, such as pollution, noise, safety, environmental damage, and loss of livelihood. The affected people should have been involved in the process of the environmental impact assessment.

"Although the MRT does have the Amdal document, the document is no longer valid today because it was made in 2005, or seven years ago. The Amdal was made to meet the requirement for the application for a JICA loan. The validity period of an Amdal is three years," Alex said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Hilda, a Fatmawati resident, said that the construction of the elevated MRT line will affect the 94 alleys, or [small] roads that lead to Jalan Fatmawati. "Even now the traffic jams have become incredible, let alone when the construction takes place," he said.

Meanwhile, they believe that constructing underground MRT will be able to reduce the impact on traffic.

Lieus Sungkharisma, a supporter of underground MRT, said that, from the technical perspective, there is actually no issue pertaining to building an underground MRT line. The MRT can be built at a depth of 40m with a 19.2m tunnel diameter. The tunnel can then be divided into three: for MRT line, toll road, and water channel.

"We have brought in consultants from Arup (UK), and Herrenknecht of Germany. They had delivered a presentation before DKI Jakarta Provincial Government regarding the possibility of building the underground MRT," said Lieus.

According to Lieus, the British and German consultants calculated the cost of underground MRT construction at Rp 1 trillion per km.

Irson Maas, a Blok A market trader, estimated there are about 1,000 merchants who will be affected by the construction of the elevated MRT.

"Where will they place us? In the meantime, PD Pasar Jaya plans to build a traditional market that will be combined with a hotel. If [the MRT line is] built underground, it will instead be beneficial to the traders because the station’s entrance door will directly connect to the market, and this will not displace the market traders," he said.

According to the plan, the residents will organise a demonstration on 15 April. (FRO/ART) 


[Last update: 2013-04-17 11:21:26]

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