Jakarta’s sports enthusiasts will be pleased to know that what used to be the capital’s red light district in Kalijodo Park, West Jakarta, has now been turned into a sports hub with world-class facilities that the public can use.
Aside from a skate park, the new sports hub features a multipurpose outdoor area, a playground for kids, a jogging track, and a mini indoor football field—all designed with top-of-the-line facilities.
Local resident Arif told reporters Tuesday that the state park surpasses international standards and is even “better than other skate parks” in the region.
The massive 1.5 hectare space renovation was part of the Spatial Master Plan, a multi-year government plan to clean up Jakarta. Reports on the fatal road crash on Jalan Daan Mogot pushed the government to pursue the replanning of the area. It was found that the suspect was driving drunk, after a drinking and karaoke spree in Kalijodo.
Demolitions started February last year, and an estimated 115 semi-permanent structures were dismantled. 284 families were relocated to the city-owned, low-cost apartment complex Marunda in Cilincing, North Jakarta, and in East Jakarta’s low-cost apartment in Pulo Gebang. Construction soon went underway after that.
Meanwhile, the human rights group Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) voiced out concerns about the forceful eviction of Kalijodo’s residents. Coordinator Haris Azhar told reporters that cities and their demolitions have to be managed in a humane way. The demolition of the Bukit Duri, Kalijodo and other slums shows “the Jakarta administration is not doing the job it is supposed to do,” the Kontras coordinator said.
Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama earlier told the media that no financial compensation was allocated for the residents’ relocation as with all other evictions for those occupying government-owned property.
Lawmaker Nusyirwan Soedjono expressed his agreement with the relocations, explaining they will improve the residents’ lives. Soedjono stated that the relocation at Bukit Duri was not an eviction and was “the right thing to do.” The lawmaker further explained how the relocation will restore the riverbanks and other natural habitats in the area.
Together with 5,000 police and military officials, Jakarta administration completed the relocation and demolition program of the Kalijodo region or Jakarta’s red light district, notoriously known for prostitution, gambling, and alcohol abuse.