Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama went straight back to work after losing the Jakarta gubernatorial election — according to many quick count results — on Wednesday (19/04), resuming a long-running project to normalize the Ciliwung River.
Ahok said he wanted to finish the project before handing over power to new governor Anies Baswedan and his deputy Sandiaga Uno in October.
The river normalization program has been one of Ahok's priorities, aimed at preventing floods which often cripple Jakarta and turning its riverbanks into open green spaces.
The success of the program will depend on how fast the Jakarta administration can build the low-cost rental apartments where evicted residents will move into.
"We need to get the apartments ready. Once they're ready, we can continue with the river normalization program. […] We don't want to stop this program. It's already 50 percent complete. You can see for yourself, even goldfish can live in the water now," Ahok said on Friday (21/04).
Ahok did not say how many low-cost apartments his administration will have to build to continue the river normalization program, saying only that Jakarta residents living illegally on Ciliwung's riverbanks will be evicted and told to move into the subsidized apartments.
"I don't know exactly how many apartment complexes we're going to build, but enough to accommodate evicted residents," the governor added.
The outgoing governor also plans to speed up the compiling of a Jakarta residents database to ensure smooth relocation from the riverbanks to the flats.
Apart from being earmarked for evicted residents, the rental apartments are also supposed to provide accommodation for the city's poor.
"We have to make sure the rich in Jakarta don't buy these apartments. The system has to be very strict," Ahok said.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the activities of outgoing Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.