Govt to Relocate Companies Operating in Citarum River Basin Areas
In an effort to restore the Citarum River that is currently experiencing severe pollution, the Government is planning to relocate a number of companies operating in the Citarum river basin area (DAS).
The goal is that the place to dispose of the waste from those factories can be centered in one place so it will no longer pollute Citarum River, said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut B. Pandjaitan during a meeting with businessmen to discuss measures to control pollution and damage in the river held at Hilton Hotel in Bandung, West Java, Wednesday (1/8).
Regarding the location for the relocation, Luhut said, the Ministry is coordinating with West Java Regional Government and leaves it fully to West Java Governor to determine the location. However, he added that the location would be in a less densely populated area.
Luhut explained that along the Citarum river basin area spanning 300 kilometer (km), there are more than 3,000 industries both small-scale industries and big scale industries operate in the riverbank. Among those companies, many of them still dispose of waste to the river without waste treatment plant (IPAL) and a task force under the command of the Governor through the commander of the Military Area Command (Kodam) III/Siliwangi in Bandung, West Java, has taken action against them.
I would like to give my appreciation to the Governor, West Java Military Commander, Chief of West Java Regional Police, Head of West Java Prosecutors Office (Kajati), and and stakeholders or their cooperation in handling this, Luhut said.
Nevertheless, although the number of factories that dispose of the waste to the river Sungai has dropped, Luhut still asked related parties to work hard to restore the condition of the river and make it waste-free. Weve made progress although we are not satisfied yet. Now we have to make a joint IPAL and do the relocation, he said.
In the meeting which was also attended by former commander of the Military Area Command (Kodam) III/Siliwangi in Bandung, West Java, who is now Secretary General of the National Resilience Council (Wantanas) Lieutenant General of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Doni Monardo, Chief of West Java Regional Police and commander of the Military Area Command (Kodam) III/Siliwangi in Bandung, West Java, Luhut added that besides damaging the environment, waste produced by those factories can cause stunting if is consumed by humans.
340,000 tons of waste that pollutes the river is very dangerous if it is consumed as it can cause stunting. The people who drink the polluted water will not be productive and can only pursue their study until high school at most because their intelligence decline, Luhut said.
Therefore, he said that Ministry will hold another meeting in the next three months for evaluation and will involve even the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) due to alleged state money losses in industry activities along the Ciliwung river basin area.
I will continue to monitor. I urge the companies not to take this issue lightly. In the next three months, well meet again for evaluation and I will invite the KPK and it was already initiated by the Governor, Luhut said.
Citarum has to be restored. I hope the companies are ready for this because it is you who can restore the Citarum river, said West Java Acting Governor Iriawan to leaders of the companies. (Puspen Kemendagri/ES) (/EP/Naster)