Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - On his first day in office, Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo met with State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan to discuss ways to solve the city's traffic woes, including a plan to revive the abandoned monorail project.
"I want the project to be presented to me again, because I want to understand why it was stopped," Jokowi said after the meeting yesterday.
Former governor Fauzi Bowo called off the project in 2011, three years after its developer, PT Jakarta Monorail, halted construction due to legal and financial problems.
Earlier this year, the city administration under Bowo announced that it planned to use the concrete columns left by the initial construction phase for part of an elevated bus rapid transit (BRT) project.
However, state-owned construction firm PT Adhi Karya announced in August that it wanted to revive the project. Iskan backed the plan, saying that a monorail was necessary to help ease traffic congestion in the capital.
The Jakarta Development Planning Board, or Bappeda, maintains that an elevated BRT system is more suitable for Jakarta's conditions than a monorail. A monorail would be less feasible as it would require a huge amount of investment and subsidy, Bappeda's head, Sarwo Handayani, said.
PT Adhi Karya's president director, Kiswodarmawan, said he would meet with Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama on Friday to present the company's plan regarding the project's revival. He declined to disclose details of the project, however, which he said would cost about 3.7 trillion rupiah (US$390 million).
Earlier yesterday, Jokowi visited Pademangan subdistrict, North Jakarta, where he asked residents to collaborate with the Public Works Agency to clean the area's waterways ahead of the rainy season. He said he had found drains in the area to be dirty, many of them clogged with garbage and mud, which prevented the flow of water and contributed to flooding in the area.
"I have seen many dirty tributaries here and I have asked neighbourhood heads and residents to help clean them. I'll give them a week," he said during his field visit to three densely populated areas in the city.
He added that residents would receive assistance from the agency to clean the clogged waterways. "The Public Works Agency will provide sacks, trucks and equipment to move the garbage, if necessary. Residents should be involved in the clean-ups, so that they make a contribution," Jokowi said.
He added that the administration had prepared the budget so that the work could be started immediately. Pademangan is one of North Jakarta's flood-prone areas during the rainy season due to clogged drains.
Besides visiting Pademangan, Jokowi, who was accompanied by several agency heads, also visited Tanah Tinggi Kota Paris in Central Jakarta and the Ciliwung River in Bukit Duri in South Jakarta.
In Tanah Tinggi, Jokowi made notes about problems faced by residents living in low-cost apartments in the district, and asked the relevant agency heads with him at the time to focus on improving conditions in the apartments.
When visiting the Sanggar Ciliwung Merdeka community organisation in Bukit Duri, he discussed with residents the possible design of low-cost apartment blocks, known as kampung deret (a row of villages).