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Jakarta administration to build new apartments for former Kampung Bayam residents

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Nur Janti, Jakarta – Former Kampung Bayam residents who were evicted from their homes to make way for the development of the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, agreed to move to a new apartment complex that will be built by the city administration soon.

The decision was made during a mediation facilitated by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) at its headquarters in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Monday – ending a long dispute between the two conflicting parties.

A representative of the former Kampung Bayam residents, Furqon, told The Jakarta Post that some 30 to 35 families who were still living in temporary shelters on Jl. Tongkol, Tanjung Priok, nodded to the agreement because the soon-to-be-developed apartment complex would still be within the Tanjung Priok district.

Since moving into the shelters, the residents had started over their agricultural businesses to make ends meet.

"Because [most of] us are farmers, we asked the government to provide us with the access to the farm, which we have done on Jl. Tongkol. [...] And the city administration agrees to the request," Furqon said on Tuesday.

Previously, the authorities asked the residents to relocate to a low-cost apartment building (rusun) Nagrak in the Cilincing district of North Jakarta, which was around 30 kilometers away from their former neighborhood in Kampung Bayam.

The Jakarta administration in 2020, under the leadership of former Governor Anies Baswedan, pledged to build a rusun close to JIS as a replacement for the residents' destroyed houses.

Subsequently, over 400 families volunteered to move out from Kampung Bayam, believing the authorities. Some of the residents chose to move to temporary shelters on nearby Jl. Tongkol, despite limited access to basic needs, including clean water and electricity, but some others relocated to Nagrak.

Furqon told the Post previously that the displacement had taken a huge toll on the livelihoods of some residents who now rely on odd jobs to make a living, as their agricultural fields on Kampung Bayam had been leveled for the stadium construction.

On the other hand, Komnas HAM confirmed that the new apartments would be built on Jl. Yos Sudarso, located some 2 km away from Jl. Tongkol.

"The residents are willing to relocate to an apartment complex to be developed by the Jakarta administration," Prabianto Mukti Wibowo of the Komnas HAM told journalists on Monday. The city administration, however, did not respond to the Post's inquiries.

Jakarta Public Works and Housing Agency acting head Afan Adriansyah Idris said earlier that the authorities had set up some budgets for the facility construction. But he stopped short of disclosing more details about the development plan.

An apartment complex next to JIS, dubbed Kampung Susun Bayam, was ready for occupancy in 2022 yet the former Kampung Bayam residents were barred from moving in.

The Jakarta administration under the new leadership of acting governor Heru Budi Hartono claimed there were some legal matters needing to be settled first.

Anies has criticized the move, saying Kampung Susun Bayam was intended for those specific citizens.

The apartment "was purposefully built and prepared there. I think it's heartless to not give it to the [former] residents of Kampung Bayam, who should have the right to occupy it," Anies said in January when he was running as a presidential candidate.

The administration later revealed that Kampung Susun Bayam would house JIS' operational support staff instead, without explaining more about the confusing decision.

Prabianto of the Komnas HAM said the commission would hold another meeting with another group of former Kampung Bayam residents who currently reside in Rusun Nagrak, as they demanded to come back to Kampung Susun Bayam. The date of the meeting has yet to be decided.

"The problem is that JIS, as an international stadium, must follow FIFA regulations, which apparently ban public housing around the stadium," Prabianto said.

The Post has also tried to seek comments from city-owned developer PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro) in charge of developing JIS as well as the housing facilities, but they were not immediately available to respond.

Source: https://asianews.network/jakarta-administration-to-build-new-apartments-for-former-kampung-bayam-residents