Group ‘Ready to Sue’ Jakarta Over Bylaw on Master Plan

By webadmin on 11:14 pm Mar 31, 2010
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Arientha Primanita

Activists and experts on Wednesday said they were ready to take the Jakarta administration to court over a bylaw on the city’s master plan if the city continued to ignore their demand for changes.

The Citizens’ Coalition for Jakarta 2030, which is comprised of nonprofit and social organizations concerned about the bylaw, filed a legal notification on Monday demanding that the draft that would set the master plan for the city for the next 20 years be revised.

The group charges that the bylaw was made without public participation.

City authorities say proper procedures were followed.

Irvan Pulungan, of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, told the Jakarta Globe that the Citizens’ Coalition had yet to receive a formal response from the city.

“People have a lack of sense of ownership of the bylaw, while this is important, since it is about the city’s future,” Irvan said, adding that the draft needed to be revised even before it was submitted to the City Council.

If no response came within 15 days of the legal notification, the coalition would file a lawsuit against Governor Fauzi Bowo as the leader of the city administration, he said.

Irvan said the city should redraft the bylaw and involve public participation as early as possible, and should seek to delay debate on the draft at the council by one year to allow preparation of a better bylaw.

He said a survey found that most of the 2,000 people questioned did not know that the city administration had been discussing the bylaw.

The master plan is meant to solve the city’s problems, including its perennial traffic jams and floods.

Wiriatmoko, of the Spatial Planning Agency, said the city had embraced public participation since 2005 through forum group discussions from the level of urban ward up to the municipal level.

“The draft cannot be started from scratch again, but the public can be directly involved again in the debates at the city council,” he said.

The city is expecting the draft to be endorsed this year.