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Jakarta monorail, MRT may start soon: governor

Publication Date : 06-02-2013

 

Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says that work on much-awaited monorail and mass rapid transit (MRT) system projects may begin as soon as the end of the month.

During a development planning meeting at City Hall yesterday, Jokowi said he would soon make his decision on the projects.

“I will decide this month. Once legal matters are completed, the work can be done immediately — maybe the next day,” the governor said. Jokowi said that he had completed a budget proposal for the projects and would soon hold public hearings to discuss the expenditures. “I hope the projects can be completed soon,” he said.

The governor also said that the administration would expand the number of dedicated lanes for Transjakarta, increase the number of buses assigned to the system and replace aging minibuses.

The projects have been given priority under the governor’s mid-term regional development plan (RPJMD) for 2013 to 2017 to ease the capital’s horrendous traffic and to promote public transportation use.

Other projects covered by the plan are those to alleviate perennial flooding by normalising the city’s rivers and lakes and requiring public and private property owners to dig percolation pits to harvest excess rainwater.

“We will also build affordable rental apartments that will be equipped with markets, as well as healthcare and sport facilities. We endorse vertical housing as well as redeveloping slum areas,” Jokowi said. The governor also mentioned his plans to expand the capital’s green spaces and to build malls designated for street vendors. “We also want to refurbish our wet markets,” he added.

Jokowi also vowed to develop of cultural events and preserve Jakarta cultural sites, by revitalising the Kota Tua Old Town in West Jakarta, among other things, and to improve public service by establishing a one-stop public service system.

The initiatives received a mixed responses from urban planning NGO members at the meeting.

Yayat Supriyatna, an urban planning expert from Trisakti University, for example, lauded the programmes, saying that they were “interesting and down-to-earth”.

Meanwhile, former human settlements and regional development minister Erna Witoelar warned Jokowi to not do too much too soon.

“The administration should not spend a lot of money on establishing something new while not spending enough on the maintenance. The governor should not set such idealistic targets. It is okay to do everything slowly but progressively,” she said.

Separately, Jakarta Statistics Agency head Nyoto Widodo predicted that the city’s gross domestic product (PDRB) would remain stable this year. Jakarta’s PDRB was up 6.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, beating the 6.2 per cent rate booked by the national economy in the same period.

 

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