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Jakarta’s Reclamation, Sea Wall and Land Subsidence Phenomenon Continue to Spark Debates

The giant sea wall project in Jakarta was initially intended to resemble the mythical bird of Garuda.

It is currently entering the second phase of development, involving a 2,000-hectare reclamation project in Jakarta Bay. A 20 km outer sea dike will also function as a toll road.

A proposal for the new concept will be sent by the Public Works and Housing Ministry to the state palace, after it being agreed with their Dutch and Korean counterparts. The second phase of the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) is now officially called the outer sea dike.

The concept will not entirely close the bay – a decision which was made to placate sea experts and fishermen, who expressed fears that the artificial river might collect untreated river water from other areas of Jakarta and turn into a ‘giant toilet’.

According to Andi Baso, a senior advisor for the ministry’s NCICD working unit, the western side dike will cost approximately Rp48trillion and will have five large openings to provide access for transport and fishing activities directed towards the Thousand Islands Regency.

The sea wall has long been a subject of controversy, with experts claiming that the government should focus on preventing Jakarta from sinking by stopping groundwater extractions. Other factors, such as the natural characteristic of Jakarta’s soil and buildings also contribute towards the city’s land subsidence problem.

The first phase of the NCICD, as stated by the government, mainly consisted of strengthening the coastal embankments. It is estimated to cost Rp9.4trillion until 2039. According to Andi, the main rationale behind the construction of the outer sea dike is to provide Jakarta with more roads to ease traffic.

According to the NCID adviser, the new concept is called “adaptive”. In case Jakarta’s land subsidence is unable to be controlled by 2050, the five large openings will be closed – which is estimated to cost about Rp24.4trillion. About 2,000ha of land will be proposed to investors in order to partially finance the Rp154trillion project.

The land will be designated for residential development, commercial areas, and industrial activities. Unlike the 17 artificial islets in the Jakarta Bay, this will be attached to Jakarta’s mainland, except for one artificial island which will be connected to the existing islet G, marketed as Pluit City by developer Agung Podomoro Land or APL.

Marthin Hadiwinata, a member of the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen’s Association, has strongly criticised the project, saying that reclamation is not suitable for Jakarta’s land subsidence.

Source: The Jakarta Post
Image: Merdeka

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