Any new idea, whether it is an innovation or new development, always raises pros and cons. Jakarta Bay Reclamation (JBR) Project is no exception. A lot of people – be they environment experts, lawyers, politicians and observers – all are looking on the projects whether they are executed conforming to the regulations or whether there are some frauds involved in them. Some are trying hard to be involved in the projects in the hope of at least getting a part of the huge funds spent in the projects and some are sincere on their criticism.
The project began under Presidential Decree No. 17 of 1994 stipulating that Jakarta North Coast Region was categorized as the mainstay of Jakarta urban development region. Presidential Decree No. 52/1995 followed suit stipulated to organize the Jakarta North Coast region development through the sea reclamation integrated with existing coastal plains.
In January 2012 the Governor Regional Regulation No 8/1995 on the Implementation of North Jakarta Reclamation Area was changed under the setting of the Spatial Plan to year 2030. In September of the same year, one month before the end of his term, four principal permits were issued under the Governor Regulation No 121/2012 by Fauzi Bowo on the reclamation of F, G, I and K islands. Those permits were extended by the then Acting Governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama (Ahok) in June 2014.
From the end of 2014 to the end of 2015 Governor Ahok issued the reclamation execution permit of G, F, I and K. Today, a total of 17 man-made islands inside Jakarta Bay are in process to undergo their construction or under the process of getting the permit. Those islands were named alphabetically namely A being the westernmost island through Q island in the easternmost of Jakarta Bay.
On 27 April 2016, in a closed meeting discussing the Jakarta Bay reclamation, President Jokowi ensured that the whole Jakarta reclamation project should be continued. This reclamation project will be integrated with the National Capital Integrated Costal Development (NCICD).
He reminded that the land subsidence in Jakarta has been very worrying. It is estimated that if there is no action to cope with the problem, the entire North Jakarta will be submerged and below the sea level in 2030. In fact, as the capital city, Jakarta must have the resilience and resources to support a sustainable environment. Jokowi said that the construction of coastal Capital (NCICD) which has long been initiated would be a solution. Do not narrow the problem by focusing only to the Jakarta reclamation project alone.
Following the uproar over the issue of bribery and the arrest M.Sanusi, Chairman of the Jakarta City Council by KPK as well as the growing protest some communities, at the meeting of the Reclamation Joint Committee of inter-ministerial and DKI Government, Rizal Ramli, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Resources decided to stop the G island reclamation project on the grounds that the island was developed over the Pertamina gas pipeline and over the PLN underground cable lines.
But according to Tutty Kusumawati, Head of Bappeda DKI Jakarta, the cancellation of the G island reclamation was unilaterally decided by the Minister Rizal Ramli. Tutty said that the Joint Committee never concluded that there were gross violations on the G island development and no cancellation recommendations towards the reclamation. However, Rizal Ramli had another opinion which was beyond the Committee recommendations. According to her, the term gross violations were expressed by Rizal himself.
Mahfud M.D, ex-Minister of Law and Human Rights, was in the opinion that as Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Marine Resources, Rizal Ramli had no rights or authority to decide the fate of a reclamation project in Jakarta Bay not mention deciding the cancellation of the reclamation. Any cancellation decision is fully at the hand of the President. What Rizal Ramli did had no connection with the Governor of Jakarta. Naturally Ahok as a governor was in the right position to raise the matter directly to the president.
We all have interests that all parties concerned have proportional opinion. There are some countries that have successful development of their sea reclamation such as Singapore, our neighboring country and Dubai in the Middle East. Apart of the criminal problems associated with frauds, and violations regulation which might be done by developers, environmental and the fate of fishermen issues, we must see the reclamation project in Jakarta Bay implemented as an integral part of coastal development capital (NCICD) as a project that can provide a positive effect in a long term to Great Jakarta as a whole as referred to in Presidential Decree No. 17 of 1994 and No. 5.