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Bekasi residents plant trees and release fish in damaged roads

Kompas - June 1, 2004

Bekasi – Residents of the Jakarta satellite city of Bekasi who are fed up with the poor condition of roads have again taken action by planting trees on damaged roads. Not only that, on Monday May 31 they also released fish into the larger pot holes on Jalan Perjuangan which are constantly full of water.

The action by residents from the Social Alliance of Struggle was held on Jalan Perjuangan between PT Kertas Bekasi Teguh and the Taman Wisma Asri housing estate or for a length of three kilometres.The action represented a form of protest and a call for the Bekasi city government to repair the road which represent the main access for North Bekasi residents into the city.

When Kompas’ went to investigate, scores of banana, mango, taro and acacia trees could be seen standing in the damaged parts of the road supported by wooden sticks and old tyres. In addition to this, they also released four kilograms of freshwater catfish and three kilograms of eels – but the fish didn’t last long because they were soon caught by local children and housewives. As a result of the action traffic was congested from the Bekasi train station to the Taman Wisma Asri housing estate.

According to Pepen, one of the coordinators, Jalan Perjuangan, beginning at the Bekasi train station up to the boarder between the Babelan and Bekasi regencies or for a length of around eight kilometers has been in a poor state or repair since 2001. The Bekasi city government has only repaired the roads by filling holes with concrete for one kilometer or so but only a number of points, not all of them. (ELN)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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