Jarkata builds low-cost apartments for relocated families

INDONESIA - The Jakarta administration is building three low-cost apartments in Cipinang, Pulogadung and Pulogebang in East Jakarta for around 600 families who will be relocated from the banks of the Ciliwung River, which flows through the city.

Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo attended the ceremony to mark the start of the construction project, worth 60 billion rupiah (S$6.6 million).

"We have told the City Council we will build a total of around 200 apartments. So, the needs of residents for affordable housing are fulfilled," he said in the ceremony.

He added the administration would set its annual target in its development programmes. Jokowi added he would not relocate one or two families but a neighborhood community or a subdistrict.

"All sites cleared of settlements can be made 'green' and can be open spaces, for public recreational sites," he said.

He added that like the those in Marunda, North Jakarta, and Grogol, West Jakarta, the apartments would also be equipped with markets and other public facilities.

"If the apartment complex is big enough, we will equip it with a market, a community health centre and schools," he said.

Jokowi, however, said he was unsure if the units would also be equipped with refrigerators and television, like the ones in Marunda, North Jakarta.

"We will see the real condition in the field. If they need to be equipped with such facilities, we will try to fulfil it," he said.

Jokowi said the city would also provide public transportation if it was necessary, for the mobility of the inhabitants.

Housing and Administrative Building Agency head YonathanPasodung agreed and said the three apartments would have 200 units each. "The development costs around Rp 60 billion from the local budget," he said.

According to data from the East Jakarta Municipal administration, around 6790 families were living on the banks of the Ciliwung in two subdistricts KampungMelayu and BidaraCina.

Yonathan said his agency aimed for the apartments to be completed in June 2014.

The city administration is intensifying the building of low-cost apartments to relocate thousands of squatters that are located on the banks of rivers and water reservoirs in the city.

Before the three apartments, the city has built several others in Marunda and Pluit, North Jakarta and in PinusElok, East Jakarta as new settlements for squatters in the Pluit Dam and Ria-Rio reservoir areas, respectively.

The city is now trying to buy 14 plots of land to build inexpensive apartments around the city.

It is estimated 658 blocks of apartments could be built on the plots of land.