Giant Sea Wall to Become Giant Sea City

(JG Photo/ Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

By : Lenny Tristia Tambun | on 10:44 AM November 27, 2013
Category : News, Jakarta, Featured

Pemecah Ombak Jakarta's flood defenses need urgent improvement. Twenty people were killed by flooding this year. (JG Photo)

The giant sea wall project in North Jakarta will not only serve as a flood defense but will also be developed into a new integrated city, according to Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa.

To reflect the scale of the project, its name has been changed from the Jakarta Coastal Defense Program to the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD).

Hatta said the project will double as a new city, complete with an airport and a seaport.

“As we know overcoming floods in Jakarta needs a comprehensive effort, it can’t be done by just the Jakarta administration,” Hatta said on Tuesday.

“All of government and the satellite cities must be integrated to protect against the floods.”

Hatta said the NCICD would also become a reliable clean water source for the capital, but did not provide details.

In addition, he said the seaport and airport are expected to relieve Jakarta’s existing transportation infrastructure.

“We support the program but the role of the regional government will be key,” Hatta said.

Jakarta governor Joko Widodo echoed the minister’s sentiments — saying that the city’s problems should be handled collectively.

“There must be help from the central government to coordinate the development plan in Jakarta.

“This giant sea wall project for instance — it must be done by central and regional government together. If it’s done partially then it will never be finished,” he said.

Joko said the NCICD project was still being discussed, and that engineering designs were yet to be completed.

According to the government the giant sea wall will be funded with regional and state budget funds, as well as finance from the private sector.

Initial blueprints for the plan, announced by the Jakarta administration, envisage a sea wall between 35 and 60 kilometers long, beginning at Teluk Naga in Tangerang and ending at Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta.

Joko said the project would begin in December and continue until 2014.

The wall plan calls for the dredging of 4 million cubic meters of sand from the seabed to be used in constructing five islands with a total area of 220 hectares.

Last year the Indonesian Forum for Environment, Walhi, issued a warning over the plan, saying that Jakarta needed investment in coastal ecological rehabilitation, rather than an engineering folly destined to enable a land grab by private developers.

“Look at Pantai Indah Kapuk. The whole length of that area has been built with private housing, with no coastal land reserved for the public,” said Ubaidillah of Walhi Jakarta, in August last year when the plans were mooted.

“The sea wall will cause sedimentation, so more land can be reclaimed — that’s what the developers are really after.”

Ubaidillah also warned that the project would result in further evictions of fishing Jakarta’s fishing communities.

The project is primarily aimed at protecting the city from flooding. Jakarta saw its worst ever flooding at the beginning of the year, which left 20 people dead and more than 45,000 people displaced.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama earlier this month conceded the city had completed less than 20 percent of its flood mitigation plans.

He said the government was working in stages to achieve programs aimed at reducing the devastating floods that have hit the city each year.

Some 2,000 infiltration wells are to be dug around the city by the end of this year, followed by another 2,000 next year. Basuki said they may not directly eliminate flooding but could help reduce standing water during the rainy season.

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