Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Jakarta administration plans to transform the capital's main river, the Ciliwung, notoriously known for its pollution and slum areas, into a tourist destination. (Really?)

                               Indonesia’s capital Slum Area on  Ciliwung River

The city is aggressively cleaning up all of its rivers, and once the Ciliwung River is clean and free of garbage, Jakartans and tourists can enjoy the river, which runs right through the capital.

"Ciliwung is suitable for river tourism. The riverbank’s sedimentary rock is beautiful," Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjajaha Purnama told journalists at City Hall on Wednesday.

The city will retain the natural form of the sedimentary rock for 9 meters in Condet, East Jakarta, and will not install sheet pile over it, Ahok said. 

Moreover, Ahok will also urge the managements of apartments near the Ciliwung River to establish open green spaces up to the river.

Ahok previously planned to introduce water-based transportation in the Ciliwung, which stretches across the capital to Depok and Bogor in West Java. However, as he viewed conditions for himself on Wednesday, the governor realized that water transportation would be slower than land transportation.

The plan to transform the river emerged when the administration decided to rehabilitate the Ciliwung. The city has conducted cleanup programs involving contract workers and evicted people from illegal settlements along riverbanks.

The city administration has normalized 9 kilometers of the planned 19 kilometers of Ciliwung riverbanks, with illegal buildings still occupying some of the riverbanks. About 50,000 people live along the Ciliwung, according to city data.

Illegal buildings will be demolished and the residents relocated once low-cost apartments have been built. The Jakarta Housing agency will provide 20,000 apartments this year and another 50,000 next year. Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

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