Theresia Sufa, Bogor – Some 53 unlicensed buildings in Naringgul village in Cisarua, part of the Puncak resort in Bogor, West Java, were demolished by the regency's Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers on Thursday.
Bogor Satpol PP head of law enforcement, Agus Rido, said officers had demolished the buildings in compliance with a 2015 bylaw on public order.
Authorities had previously sent three warning notices to the owners and residents of the buildings, but they still had not obtained permits, he said.
"Some people said the buildings were their homes, not hostels [...] some also said they had land [certificates], but the problem here is not land ownership, but that the buildings don't have permits," Agus said.
Agus went on to say that 30 of the 53 buildings were identified as rent-by-the-hour hostels usually used for prostitution.
The Bogor administration is currently in the process of restructuring Puncak so that it can become a national tourism destination and an icon of the regency.
"Therefore we expect there will be no more rent-by-the-hour hostels. Those places should be banished from this land of strong faith," he said.
The demolition, however, was met with opposition from local residents who said that they owned land certificates and that they had lived in their homes for decades.
Ida, a resident of Naringgul village, said her house, which she said was her private home and not a hostel, was torn down during the operation.
"I've lived here for 25 years [...] I have a land certificate, but they tore it down anyway because I don't have a building permit," she said. (gis)