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 Massive development may harm Bandung

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BerichtOnderwerp: Massive development may harm Bandung   Massive development may harm Bandung Icon_minitimedi 10 dec 2013 - 20:41

Massive development may harm Bandung

Arya Dipa, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Archipelago | Mon, December 09 2013, 9:37 AM

The West Java provincial administration has expressed concern over a massive development in the northern Bandung area, as the site, which is 750 meters above sea level, is a watershed for the city and its surroundings.

West Java Environmental Impact Analysis Assessment Commission secretary Prima Mayaningtis said her office had been flooded with applications for building permits in the northern Bandung area from five regency and municipality administrations, though no more construction could be undertaken.

“That’s why a letter from the governor is required for those wishing to build in the area,” Prima said at the Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Bandung recently.

“There are many structures that were built illegally without permission,” said Prima.

She said 10 to 20 percent of the area in the West Bandung regency could still be developed, while the Bandung municipality area was already overcrowded.

Breakneck development, which has failed to comply with spatial planning, has also had an impact on the climate in Bandung. The West Java Environmental Control Agency (BPLH) recorded a change in the average temperature of the city, rising from 32.6 degrees Celsius in 2002 to 34.2 Celsius in 2006.

“This is predicted to rise further due to gas emissions in the Bandung basin. Around 80 percent of the heat was attributed to the presence of buildings,” said Prima.

The West Java branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) estimated that around 3,000 commercial buildings currently existed in the northern Bandung area.

“We estimate around 30 percent of them are unlicensed in regards to spatial planning and environmental permits,” said West Java Walhi director Dadan Ramdan.

The northern Bandung area is a catchment area supplying groundwater to the Bandung basin areas, such as Bandung and Cimahi municipalities and West Bandung and Bandung regencies. Around 75 percent of the area, which has a total of 38,643 hectares, is in critical condition.

Walhi has urged the West Java governor to audit building licensing and environmental standards in the northern Bandung area. “The illegal commercial facilities should be torn down. The mayor and regent must also conduct an audit on the building permits they issued,” said Dadan.

Meanwhile, Sunda Forestry and Environment Observation Council member Sobirin Supardiono said that even though most of the development was occurring on private land, not state property, developers still needed the necessary letter from the West Java governor.

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