Date of access: Feb 1st, 2013 Date of article published: Jan 26, 2013 Date commentary was written: Jan 31st, 2013
Word Count: 726 Section of syllabus related: Market Failure
Editorial: Good-bye Jakarta
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Sat, January 26 2013, 7:27 AM
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Paper Edition | Page: 5 Jakarta has long been infamous for its repeated floods, such as those that crippled the capital and all its government and economic activities last week. Over 15,000 people were displaced and the material losses from infrastructure destruction and damage inflicted on personal property have reportedly reached Rp 20 trillion (US$ 2 billion). The devastating impact of the disaster on government activities and public services under the central government’s auspices has revived a debate over the need for the country to move its capital from floodridden Jakarta. Even President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, according to his aides, has considered relocation of the capital, albeit as a last resort, as part of an all-out, comprehensive effort to solve the problems facing Jakarta. With or without major floods, which strike every five or six years, Jakarta can no longer sustain the population burden with all its consequences. The city no longer has space to provide housing to all of its nearly 10 million citizens or build roads for the 6 million cars and motorcycles thronging the capital. This is quite apart from the city’s lack of infrastructure to protect residents from disasters like the annual floods. Jakarta today is typified by frustrating traffic gridlock, slums that encircle high-rise buildings, makeshift huts built along riverbanks, food stalls and groceries that occupy sidewalks, traditional markets that...