New policies are now being enforced at Central Jakarta's market district of Tanah Abang, following massive crowds at the popular textile market and nearby train station over the weekend.
Several videos taken from Tanah Abang have been widely circulating, prompting netizens to blame the crowds for ignoring lessons from India's devastating second wave of the coronavirus.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that the crowds on Saturday – which reached an estimated 80,000 visitors – were "unexpected," and half of them arrived in Tanah Abang using the KRL Commuterline trains. Jakarta Provincial Government said the crowds might have exceeded almost 200 percent of the market's total capacity on that day.
Pasar Jaya, the regional public company that manages traditional markets in Jakarta, has set new operation hours for Tanah Abang Market in accordance with Anies' order. Starting yesterday, kiosks located on odd floors are obligated to close at 4pm daily, while the ones on even floors must close at 5pm to prevent unwanted crowds of exiting visitors.
In addition, no KRL Commuterline trains are stopping at Tanah Abang Station from 3pm to 7pm daily following Saturday's pandemonium. Anne Purba, a spokeswoman at KRL Commuterline management firm PT KCI, said in a statement that the measure was taken to prevent a passenger rush as people tend to head home from the district during those hours.
For the time being, passengers of KRL Commuterline from and to Rangkasbitung, Parungpanjang, and Serpong can only get on and off the train at Palmerah Station; while those from and to Bogor, Depok, Nambo-Angke, and Jatinegara may choose to depart or alight at Karet, Duri, and Angke stations during these hours.
KRL Commuterlines routes other than those affected above are operating as usual.
Jakarta Metro Police's Traffic Directorate said that it will prepare traffic diversion plans across Tanah Abang to anticipate similar crowds leading up to Eid, which is expected to fall on May 13 this year.
Sambodo Purnomo Yogo, who heads the directorate, said in a statement today that the traffic diversions and closures will adjust to the condition at Tanah Abang. Some locations that are likely to be closed are Bongkaran, Petamburan to the direction of Tanah Abang, Layang Jatibaru, and around the market's block G.