Wednesday, April 15, 2009 3:23 PM
City counts on bigger budget for flood canal
The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 02/01/2007 4:29 PM | Jakarta
Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The city administration hopes to get a higher budgetary allocation for the East Flood Canal project when the Home Ministry reviews the 2007 budget, after the City Council slashed budget support for the project.
Governor Sutiyoso said Wednesday the administration needed Rp 1 trillion to get the project off the ground as soon as possible, in order to prevent water from streaming into the city from upland areas and causing floods.
“”The East Flood Canal is the only way to protect the city against floods,”” he said.
“”It should be constructed immediately. Otherwise, the area will always be inundated in the rainy season.””
The construction of the 23.5-kilometer canal is expected to be completed by 2010.
The central government has allocated Rp 2.5 trillion for the construction work, while the Jakarta administration spent Rp 2.4 trillion on land acquisition.
To date, only a 7.6-km stretch of the canal has been completed.
The canal, which has an upstream depth of three meters and a downstream depth of seven m, is projected to accommodate more than 390 cubic meters of water per second.
The Public Works Ministry, which is supervising the project, said it was aimed at preventing water from the Cipinang, Sunter, Buaran, Jati Kramat and Cakung rivers flooding areas of East and North Jakarta during the rainy season, when the river levels rise.
It would also protect more than 13 flood-prone areas, including in Cipinang Besar, Cipinang Muara, Cakung Timur, Pondok Kelapa and Duren Sawit.
The Jakarta administration has identified 78 flood-prone areas in the city.
During the budget assessment process earlier this month, the City Council cut the budget allocation to acquire land for the project.
As a result, the administration will only get Rp 600 billion (US$64.5 million) of the proposed Rp 1 trillion to resume the project this year.
The decision was made due to the prolonged dispute between the administration and land owners over land prices.
The council claimed the administration’s failure to solve the dispute had caused the low rate of budget usage in the last two years.
It urged the administration to spend the money on disaster preparedness and flood prevention in the first quarter of the year, rather than keeping it for an unclear land acquisition process.
The administration will have the chance to argue its case during the Home Ministry review and mid-year budget revision.
City secretary Ritola Tasmaya said Wednesday the budget files would be sent to the Home Ministry for review this week.
However, experts have said building the canal is no solution.
The Houw Liong of the Bandung Institute of Technology’s (ITB) School of Physics said the project developers were shortsighted.
“”It’s no solution because it will only channel all the water into the sea. Jakarta will then experience serious water shortages in the dry season.””
It is better to choose cheaper solutions i.e. to rebuild and preserve the rainfall catchment areas on the upstream of the rivers that cross Jakarta and to build ponds/rainfall absorbing areas.