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Residents oppose Semarang-Demak sea toll road project

Tempo - January 18, 2024

Jamal Abdun Nashr, Semarang – The Maleh Dadi Segoro or MDS Coalition raised concerns about the social and ecological impacts of the construction of the Semarang-Demak sea toll road, which also functions as an embankment. The government claimed that this national strategic project (PSN) is a solution to flooding in the areas of Semarang City and Demak Regency.

"The risk of floods in coastal areas will be higher after the closure of five rivers for the Semarang-Demak seawall toll road," the coalition's representative, Iqbal Alghofani, said on Wednesday, January 17.

Iqbal argued that the toll road would also affect the 46-hectare mangrove forest and lead to the loss of local livelihoods. "[Including] shrimp and crab farmers along the Semarang-Demak coastal area due to the reduction of mangrove forest areas and land acquisition for ponds," he explained.

The ponds would not receive seawater because they would be blocked by embankments, causing residents to lose their jobs. Additionally, the seawall would impede the mobility of residents in the sea and exacerbate coastal erosion, leading to a reduction in freshwater sources in the eastern area.

Iqbal added that the sea toll road would also exacerbate land subsidence along the coast of Semarang City and Demak Regency.

The adverse impact of the construction of the Semarang-Demak sea toll road, he stressed, was increasingly being felt by vulnerable groups, "such as women, children, and the elderly." Recently, tidal flooding has also hit several villages that were never affected by it before, including Sidogemah Village in Sayung District, Demak Regency.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1822699/residents-oppose-semarang-demak-sea-toll-road-projec