Jakarta cancels Great Garuda seawall

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Jakarta was once said to be following in the footsteps of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with a planned island group in its bay — but not anymore.

While Dubai has Palm Islands, Jakarta planned to have the Great Garuda that was claimed to be mitigation measures for land subsidence in the capital that reaches an average of 7 centimeters per year.

Apart from the man-made islets, the Great Garuda would also have consisted of seawalls, which were designed to resemble Garuda — a mythological bird and Indonesia’s emblem.

However, the project had been scrapped and will be replaced with “minimalist” mitigation alternatives, said Adang Saf Ahmad, a special staff on development integration to the Public Works and Public Housing Minister.

The mitigation project, officially called the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD), is the responsibility of an integrated team from various state institutions, like the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry and Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, as well as the Jakarta administration.

“If we were to build a home, we wanted to make a minimalist one,” Adang told The Jakarta Post.

“The project’s focal point is to keep Jakarta away from flooding [because of land subsidence] and that is what we will focus on.”

The planned change was taken after an instruction from the office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, which has agreed to provide an injection for the mitigation project through the state budget.

However, Adang claimed that he did not know about the funding scheme, as well as the amount.

Previously, he explained, the office of Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister demanded that the mitigation project must use “zero percent from the state budget.”

With the current decision, the mitigation measures will be divided into two schemes — called no-regret measures and conditional measures — at a lower cost.

The no-regret measures have been ongoing with 20.1 kilometers of coastal and river embankments currently being built in critical flood-prone areas, mostly in northern Jakarta.

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