An employee walking along a thermal pipe at the Kamojang geothermal
power plant near Garut, West Java, on March 18. State utility provider
 Perusahaan Listrik Negara is targeting an additional 135 megawatts of
electricity from three new geothermal plants. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,.. etc.)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“.. Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time. …”

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jakartans told to stop littering city rivers

Triwik Kurniasari, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA | Tue, 03/31/2009 11:11 AM

Changing people’s mind-set about living healthy and keeping the environment clean is the main key to encouraging people to handle waste management issues, a discussion concluded on Monday.

Sanitation remains a major problem in the capital, with many Jakartans still disposing of human waste into rivers, and even using the rivers over lavatories when nature calls.

National Development and Planning Agency (Bappenas) wastewater unit head Nugroho Tri Utomo said many people did not heed the importance of defecating in lavatories.

“We can see many slum dwellers living along riverbanks, like the Ciliwung, choosing to defecate in the river for practical reasons,” he said.

“Besides, many people who have lavatories at home still build waste pipes from their toilets to nearby rivers. It’s just the same as defecating in the river.”

Most people, he added, were unaware that human waste could pollute river water and cause various diseases, like diarrhea and typhoid.

“But it’s not easy to kick off the habit, since disposing of human waste into rivers has been some kind of culture,” Nugroho said during a discussion about sanitation at Trisakti University.

Ariani Dwi Astuti, head of Trisakti’s School of Environmental Engineering, agreed.

She said it was necessary to create specific toilet designs for people with different backgrounds.

“It’s important to adapt the technology for the local community. We can create a dry toilet for people in East Nusa Tenggara, for instance, since the people usually defecate in dry open air,” Ariani said.

She added the media played a big role in raising awareness about the important of using proper lavatories.

“It’s not easy raising public awareness about using lavatories instead of rivers to defecate in,” she said.

“Putting up ads on local TV is a good and effective way of educating people. The city administration can also take part by giving sanitation education in schools.”

The government, through Vice President Jusuf Kalla, is targeting to rid Indonesia of the habit of defecating in open areas by 2014, in a bid to increase public health quality.

Naning Adisowo, chairwoman of the Indonesian Toilet Association (ATI), urged the city administration to procure more public toilets.

“If the administration provides appropriate toilets in public places, it will prevent people from urinating on bushes or trees,” she said.

NEC to Build Submarine Cable Linking Indonesia and Hong Kong


Martyn Williams, IDG News Service, Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:50 AM PDT

NEC has won a contract to build a new submarine fiber-optic cable linking Indonesia to Hong Kong.

The Submarine Cable Asia Network (SCAN) will connect the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and the second-largest city of Surabaya to Hong Kong and from there on to other cable networks.

The 4,300-kilometer cable system will have an initial transmission capacity of 40 Gbps with upgrades possible to 1.92 Tbps, NEC said. It will also be built with three branching units along its length to facilitate possible future expansion to other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.

The cable is being constructed by Fangbian Iskan Corporindo and Telemedia Pacific. NEC's work is expected to begin during the first half of this year and be completed by 2011.

Govt to reduce size of Situ Gintung: VP

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 03/31/2009 4:28 PM

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Tuesday that the government will rebuild the Situ Gintung dam, but on a smaller scale to reduce the risk posed by the lake. Construction is expected to be completed by October.

The decision was made during a closed meeting chaired by Kalla and attended by Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie, Home Minister Mardiyanto, Social Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah, Banten Governor Ratu Atut Choisiah and Jakarta Deputy Governor Prijanto.

“The lake will be rebuilt but it has to be safe and there should be no risk at all,” Kalla told a press conference after the meeting, as quoted by He said the lake was important as water catchment area to prevent flood.

Kalla said the government would reinforce the lake using concrete for its spillway.

Heavy rains last week led to the collapse of the almost 70-year-old sluice gate and its reinforcing wall on Friday, killing at least 99 people and destroying about 600 nearby houses.

Uncontrolled housing and development in the area reduced the size of the lake, which was fed by Pesanggrahan River, from 31 hectares in 1930 to less than 21 hectares at the time of the disaster. (dre)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Head of Dam Oversight Agency Offers to Resign

The Jakarta Globe, Sally Piri, Putri Prameshwari & Farouk Arnaz, March 29, 2009

Amid mounting public pressure for government accountability in the Situ Gintung reservoir disaster that killed at least 98 people early on Friday morning, Pitoyo Subandrio, head of the Ciliwung-Cisadane Agency that oversees freshwater dams in the basin of the two rivers, said on Sunday that he was willing to resign.

His apparent readiness to become the only public official thus far to step down comes as rescue workers continue to search for 136 people still listed as missing.

The National Police, meanwhile, were investigating possible criminal negligence, given that cracks had appeared a year ago on the eastern embankment of the reservoir that crumbled last week.

“I’m not a coward. If this [mistake] happened within my scope of work, I have no problem stepping down,” Pitoyo told the Jakarta Globe.

He said he acknowledged during an emergency meeting chaired by Vice President Jusuf Kalla later on Friday that Situ Gintung, which lies in the Tangerang area of Banten Province, was under his supervision.

“I have explained everything. The highest state official has already said it was a natural disaster,” Pitoyo said, referring to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. “If it the burden of duty falls on me to [resign], why not?”

Yudhoyono on Saturday sought to label the incident a natural disaster because heavy rainfall had pushed the water level inside the reservoir to its brim. A 20-meter section of embankment crumbled under water pressure at 4 a.m.

JanJaap Brinkman, a Ministry of Public Works official from Holland and team leader of a flood-hazard mapping project, said the Ciliwung-Cisadane Agency and its head should be held responsible for the disaster. “If anyone’s to blame, it’s Pitoyo,” he said.

Brinkman said the reservoir may have been neglected because Indonesia’s regional autonomy process has made it unclear which government agency was responsible for dam maintenance. “It’s unclear who is responsible for maintaining the Gintung dam especially as it’s located just outside of Jakarta,” he said.

Budi Widiantoro, head of Jakarta’s Public Works Agency, said the city administration was not responsible for maintaining Situ Gintung. “It is outside Jakarta, so it should be under the Tangerang administration,” he said.

Pitoyo said the Ministry of Public Works allocated Rp 1.5 billion ($130,500) last year to maintain and upgrade the reservoir, in addition to building a jogging track for community use, dredging mud and clearing garbage.

However, Erwin Usman, an activist from the Indonesian Environmental Forum, or Walhi, said the organization had information showing that leaks in the embankment had been reported in 2008. These problems were not repaired as part of the Ciliwung-Cisadane Agency’s maintenance program. “Walhi is planning to report the case to the police for further investigation,” Erwin said.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Abubakar Nataprawira said investigators at the disaster scene had not yet found any evidence of negligence.

The 21-hectare Situ Gintung reservoir was built by the Dutch between 1930 and 1933, and holds some two million cubic meters of water.

The deluge that followed the collapse of the embankment emptied the reservoir, destroying at least 300 houses, injuring more than 190 people and leaving another 1,600 homeless.

Arbi Sanit, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia, said Banten’s Regional Legislative Council should ask provincial and municipal authorities in Banten and Tangerang to take responsibility.

“In a country with a civilized political system, whoever is responsible should have already stepped down, as this disaster has claimed [at least] a hundred lives,” Arbi said.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scores still missing after dam bursts

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Jakarta | Sun, 03/29/2009 11:52 AM

Attention shifted to caring for homeless and hungry survivors after a dam burst outside the Indonesian capital, sending a wall of water crashing into homes and killing at least 91 people. More than 100 others are still missing, but hope dimmed Sunday of finding them alive.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and volunteers have been digging through the mud and debris, some using hoes or their bare hands, while other rescuers scoured the banks of bloated rivers.

But so far, they have turned up mostly bodies.

Days of heavy rain caused a large lake bordering a low-lying residential area southwest of Jakarta to overflow early Friday, sending water cascading over the rim with a thunderous rumble. Hours later, a huge section of the earth wall gave away, and a 10-foot (three-meter) -high wave gushed through Cirendeu, overturning cars and uprooting trees.

National Disaster Coordinating Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono acknowledged that prospects of finding anyone alive in the muck were dimming by the hour, "though there's always the possibility that someone is alive trapped under the rubble."

Search-and-rescue operations would continue for at least a week, he said.

Some attention, meanwhile, shifted to providing food and shelter to the more than 1,600 people left homeless. Many were camping out in the hall of a nearby university, others in hastily erected tent camps.

Kardono said there was no shortage of supplies - instant noodles, baby food and bottled water - but with so many resources devoted to recovery efforts, the immediate problem was in distribution.

"What we urgently need are mattresses, blankets, clothes," said Abdul Hamid, one the victims. "I don't have anything anymore, all I had was swept away by the water. I don't have clothes for my children and my grandchildren."

Some residents blamed authorities, saying the 76-year-old dam, built in the Dutch colonial era, had been poorly maintained. They said blocked spillways had led to repeated flooding over the years, weakening it in several points.

The Ministry of Public Works promised to investigate.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a nation of 235 million.

More than 40 people were killed in the capital after rivers burst their banks two years ago. Critics said rampant overdevelopment, poor city planning and clogged drainage canals were partly to blame.

Semarang's old city: A fading reminder of former glories

Simon Marcus Gower, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Semarang | Fri, 03/27/2009 2:27 PM

Unique design: The Marba building is a quite unique design but has only sparing usage. (JP/Simon Marcus Gower)

Semarang, one of the oldest cities in the country, was the place of residence for a Dutch provincial governor in colonial times. As the provincial capital of Central Java, with a very active port, it grew into a major city busy with trade and administrative importance.

The city's commercial and administrative significance required a level of infrastructure that could support its role. This led to the development of what is now the "old city" of Semarang and its impressive buildings. Although many of these buildings are left now neglected and wasting away, they still remind us of the former glories of this city.

One of Semarang's most outstanding buildings and, fortunately, one of its best kept, is Gereja Blenduk. Built in 1753, this imposing building still stands shimmering brilliantly white in the hot sun. Despite being the oldest church in Central Java, it is still actively used as a Protestant Church - it is probably this continuing use that has allowed the building to survive in condition so much better than that of some of its neighbors.

The church is rather plain on the outside, but its solid design and construction have no doubt helped it survive the years. It principal outward feature is its dome - hence the name (gereja meaning church and blenduk meaning dome). Inside, plainness and simplicity remain the order of the day, meaning that, although very imposing, the church is not really captivating to the eye.

Overgrown: Fine buildings, located down narrow streets, are being left to rot. (JP/Simon Marcus Gower)

Rather more visually interesting is the office building opposite the church, which has also been fortunate to have survived in relatively good condition. With its 1920s art-deco geometric designs and balconies, this building, now the offices of Jiwasraya Assurance, offers more to the viewer to admire.

This office building is still in active use but it has lost some of its charm to modern alterations - such a modern front entrance doorway of plate glass and aluminum that is functional but not attractive or in keeping with the original design of the building. But despite such limitations in current appearance and use, the Jiwasraya Building and the church really are doing well, considering what else may be seen in this area.

Just down the road from these two buildings is the Marba Building which, with its red bricks contrasting with stone mullions and a corner entrance that is topped by four (still intact) stone vases, is full of character. It is, however, a building sparingly used and is evidently not awarded the respect it deserves.

Street vendors clutter its sidewalk and its paintwork and woodwork obviously need maintenance. Windows are shuttered up and once attractive and useful street canopies have been shoddily replaced and are left sagging. Although the Marba Building looks bad, its partial use is at least saving it to a certain extent; elsewhere, neglect is leaving fine buildings in ruins.

What is known as the PT Perkebunan Building looks over a fairly filthy canal. This example of solid Dutch building stands empty and quite terribly neglected. The street in front of it is busy with minibuses and hawkers but it stands forlorn, its large tower so neglected that small trees grow from it.

Large and commanding though it is, daylight breaks into its rooms through broken and collapsed roofs. Its steps have become home to a peculiar gathering of traditional masseurs who offer their services in the cooling shadow of this great building, their customers lying half-naked along the sidewalk - neither an auspicious or respectful sight to adorn its great but pollution-stained walls.

Standing tall: Mighty and bold buildings are quite wretchedly ignored
(JP/Simon Marcus Gower)

These are just a few: All around this area are wretched examples of good and even great buildings just being allowed to rot and fall away. Even though many of the buildings here were originally of simple and modest use, they still consistently possessed (and possess to this day) interesting designs and high levels of quality and craftsmanship in their construction.

What would have been quite simple warehouses for storing the vast amounts of goods being traded through Semarang's busy port show inventiveness and flourishes of decorative design that can, and should, be appreciated. But tragically such excellent buildings are being left to be overrun by nature.

One of these buildings has a tree taking root all over it and those roots are literally squeezing and crushing the building's stone to such an extent that it is simply crumbling away. Elsewhere trees and shrubs grow from ledges or cornices on upper levels of buildings, stark evidence of how terribly the buildings are simply being left to the elements.

This truly sorry sight represents a terrible waste and lack of foresight and investment. The quality of the buildings here could allow the area to be a real center of attraction. It is not too difficult to imagine stylish restaurants and trendy boutiques taking up residence in these fine buildings but this would require will and investment from city planners and developers.

It is impossible to walk through the narrow streets that are created by some fine buildings in Semarang's old city and not think "if only. if only". There are such appealing and even delightful architectural details to be seen here that their gradual loss to the elements really is a great loss. Vines and moss creep and crawl all over buildings and ferns grow remarkably well where they really should not be growing - in holes and damage to the brickwork of these buildings.

With just a modicum of imagination and effort, eye-catching shutters on windows could be repaired and painted again. Blackened white walls could be cleaned and repainted so that they shimmer and shine again in Semarang's brilliant sunlight. The damage here is considerable and time may be running out for some of these buildings, although it is not yet too late.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fauzi Calls Inspections for All 26 Dams in The Capital

The Jakarta Globe, Arientha Primanita, March 28, 2009

Situ Gintung dam burst its banks near Jakarta, sending waves of muddy water laden with debris crashing into a suburb of the Indonesian capital. (BBC)

The governor of Jakarta said on Friday that following the Situ Gintung disaster he had ordered an inspection of all dams in Jakarta.

“I have ordered the Public Works Agency to check and recheck the dams and all flood mitigation facilities and infrastructure in Jakarta,” Fauzi Bowo said.

“The incident in Situ Gintung was probably due to a lack of routine inspections,” he said.

Fauzi said that he sent his condolences to families of victims and that he regretted the disaster in the Cirendeu area of Tangerang, west of Jakarta.

He said the capital had set up shelters at Muhammadiyah University Jakarta and Ahmad Dahlan University in Ciputat, Banten Province, to accommodate people whose houses had been swept away or flooded by the burst dam.

Public health worker Effendy Anas said that in addition to providing medical aid the city sent six ambulances to help evacuate victims to Fatmawati Hospital in South Jakarta.

Budi Widiantoro, head of Jakarta’s Public Works Agency, said he had received the new instructions to check embankments in Jakarta and would take preventive steps if any weaknesses in structural integrity were found.

Budi said that while the Situ Gintung dam is in Banten Province, on the outskirts of Jakarta, it holds special significance for Indonesia’s largest city.

“It has the potential to hold back water to keep Jakarta from flooding,” he said, “but it can cause floods in Jakarta if it is overrun, as is happening now.”

He said the dam is directly linked to the Pesanggrahan River that runs through the Cirendeu area on its way to Jakarta areas like Tanah Kusir, Ulujami and Cipulir.

Fahrurozi, head of the water resources division of the Public Works Agency, said that embankment berms in Jakarta were in relatively in good condition. Of 26 dams in Jakarta, he said, six had completed berms, including Situ Babakan, Mangga Bolong and Situ Rawa Dongkel.

Fahrurozi said that at each dam there are officials who monitor water levels and infrastructural integrity.

“If they find something is wrong, they should report it to the agency as soon as possible to prevent breaches from happening,” Fahrurozi said.

Related Articles:

‘Where’s My Mom? My Dad? My Brother?’

Scores missing after Indonesia dam bursts, 77 dead

Govt urged to install early warning systems at Jakarta lakes

President instructs reconstruction of Situ Gintung dam

Cracks in Collapsed Dam Were Apparent A Year Ago

Friday, March 27, 2009

Destruction of Bandung’s Old Buildings Upsets Asia – Africa History

Friday, 27 March, 2009 | 17:38 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Bandung: The destruction of old buildings in Braga Street, Bandung, has created concerns among the managers of the Merdeka Building and the Asia – Africa Conference Museum.

The Asia – Africa Conference Museum chief, Isman Pasha, is concerned that if it continues, historic buildings linked with the Asia – Africa conference will disappear. “We can no longer call Bandung the capital of Asia – Africa if its historic buildings continue to be destroyed,” Isman said last Wednesday.

A number of buildings around the Merdeka Building also have historic value as they were visited by the delegations and committees of the 1955 Asia – Africa Conference. Besides the hotels in Asia – Africa Street, Bandung, Pasar Baru as well as in Braga Street are currently being rebuilt.

Based on Tempo’s observation, some businesses in Braga Street have been shut down. There are at least three buildings with the sign “For Sale” in front of them. The buildings are damaged and dirty.

Other sites tht make up the Asia – Africa Conference history are a number of villas in North Bandung. Isman said some presidents stayed there. Artists and conference singers were accommodated by the Surabaya Hotel. He lamented that the regional government is not serious in conserving old buildings located throughout the city. He urged that the buildings be rebuilt by the owners.


PLN Supports Earth Hour Campaign

Bernama, 27 March 2009

JAKARTA, March 27 (Bernama) -- State-owned electricity company PT PLN's Greater Jakarta and Tangerang distribution unit supports the Earth Hour campaign to have the public turn off electricity for one hour on Saturday, Antara news agency quoted a spokesman as saying.

"PLN also calls on its clients in Jakarta and Tangerang to participate in the Earth Hour campaign launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)," Hadi Sanjoto of the PLN's Greater Jakarta and Tangerang distribution unit said here on Thursday.

"We expect the public to fully participate in the campaign by switching off their lights, at least one light for each individual, for one hour on Saturday (March 28), from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm," he said.

However, PLN will still supply electricity to its clients and will not conduct a power blackout during the campaign.

Some 2,712 cities, towns and municipalities in 83 countries have already committed to vote Earth for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the worlds first global election between Earth and global warming.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights.

Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome's Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of one billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote.

Related Articles:

Jakarta Switches Off to Save the Planet

On March 28 you can VOTE EARTH by switching off your lights for one hour. 8:30PM local time, wherever you live on planet earth. Saturday 28 March 2009

PLN Blames Dollar For Huge Losses

The Jakarta Globe, Janeman Latul & Mita Valina Liem, March 26, 2009

Hammered by the falling rupiah, state-owned electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, or PLN, lost a record Rp 13.1 trillion ($1.1 billion) in 2008, Said Didu, the secretary of the State Ministry for State-Owned Enterprises, said on Wednesday. The company had sales of Rp 83.8 trillion in 2008.

The billion-dollar stumble accounted for 90 percent of all losses by state-owned enterprises in 2008, Didu said. Twenty-three state-owned firms lost a total of about Rp 14 trillion last year.

PLN’s biggest-ever loss was driven largely by the weakened rupiah, Didu said, which caused expenses booked in dollars to skyrocket. The sharp drop in the rupiah’s value against the dollar accounted for about Rp 10 trillion of PLN’s losses, while the rest of the shortfall came from net operating losses, Didu said. The company, which supplies about 80 percent of Indonesia’s electricity, had planned on an exchange rate of Rp 9,300 per dollar but then it fell to nearly Rp 12,000 by the end of the year.

“PLN’s cash flow is good and its operating loss was down dramatically,” Didu said. “The exchange rate losses aren’t due to bad performance.”

Sofyan Djalil, the state-owned enterprises minister, called PLN’s losses understandable and “not due to mismanagement.”

Aside from PLN, PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines lost an estimated Rp 568 billion, while PT Kertas Kraft Aceh, a state-owned paper mill, lost Rp 150 billion, and PT Djakarta Lloyd, a shipping company, lost Rp 150 billion, Didu said.

In 2007, PLN booked net operating losses of Rp 5.6 trillion, nearly double that of 2006. The 2007 figure was also higher than the net operating loss in 2008, which is estimated at about Rp 3 trillion. Exchange rate losses in 2007, however, were just Rp 8.5 billion, according to PLN’s annual report.

Purbaya Yudi Sadewa, the head of Danareksa research, said PLN’s losses do not mean that the company performed poorly, since it has a public service obligation to provide affordable electricity.

“When we see PLN, we have to use different glasses because it has an obligation to serve people,” Purbaya said in a telephone interview. “The multiplier effect that PLN can produce for this country is much larger than the losses. We have to appreciate the economic growth that PLN supports before calculating the financial losses.”

Purbaya noted that PLN’s revenue is fixed and is in rupiah while its expenditures, including fossil fuel purchases, are paid for in dollars. The company also has to service its foreign debt, which is denominated in dollars, he said.

Purbaya urged PLN to tidy up its financial system and to diversify its fuel sources in order to minimize potential losses in the future.

Related Article:

RI seeks to reduce dollar dependency

Government to Skip Local Level For Quick Stimulus Delivery

The Jakarta Globe, Dion Bisara & Muhamad Al Azhari, March 26, 2009

The government plans to bypass local legislatures when it distributes the stimulus fund for infrastructure projects worth Rp 12.2 trillion ($1.06 billion) to local governments, to ensure funds are disbursed on time, the chief economics minister said on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the decision not to employ the regulation on decentralization and assistance was taken after consultation with the Supreme Audit Agency, or BPK.

As part of the central government’s regional autonomy limitations, the regulation gives direct powers to provincial governments, municipalities and districts to take over the management of projects, including handling their own spending.

Sri Mulyani explained that the stimulus package contained projects that, under the Law on Regional Autonomy, would usually have to be managed by local governments.

Normally this would mean central government money would be distributed through a special allocation fund, or DAK, which would have to be approved by local legislatures when they reconvened in the month of August, Sri Mulyani said.

Presently, these legislatures are in a long recess because of the general elections, which kick off next month, Sri Mulyani said.

The government had planned to start disbursing funds in March, but the process was delayed when the House of Representatives, which has to approve government ministries’ proposals, was unhappy with their spending plans.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Buddha Bar Operator Challenges Jakarta Protest

Thursday, 26 March, 2009 | 17:15 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Owner of the new Buddha Bar chain in Jakarta challenged protesters to settle the matter of its controversial name through legal means. Spokesman for the French bar chain in Jakarta, Hasdur Hasan, said “Let the court decide whether or not we are wrong.”

The statement defies a series of protests launched by Buddhist community and a suggestion made by the Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni that the bar should be closed or change its name.

However chairman of the Council for Buddhist Youth Empowerment, a local buddhist organisation, Lieus Sungkharisma viewed the protests as unreasonable. “The protests were being politicized,” he said adding that such protest could deter investments. A member with the Provincial Legislative Council Nurmansjah Lubis said the matter is out of their authority.

The bar was opened late in 2008 with a launching ceremony led by the Jakarta governor, Fauzi Bowo. Housed in a dutch colonial era building at the heart of Jakarta up scale neighborhood, the bar is subject to another debate on its rights to operate a commercial public entertainment area in a building which was purchased and renovated by the city administration with almost US$ 2,9 million.

The bar is the fifth chain operated by the Paris-based George V Hotels and Ressorts, after branches in New York London, Dubai, and Kiev, and is the first in Asia, a region where Buddhism has substantial followers.


Related Article:

Officials, Council say nothing wrong with Buddha Bar

Power cut disrupts water supply

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 03/26/2009 9:57 AM

A disruption to the electricity supply at a water treatment plant in Pejompongan, Central Jakarta, which is managed by tap water operator PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja), will cut water supplies in several areas in Jakarta on Friday.

“Water distribution will be disrupted from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday,” Palyja spokesperson Meyritha Maryanie said on Thursday.

The company, a French partner to the city-owned PT PAM Jaya, said there would be supply cuts in several areas, while several others would suffer low water pressure.

Palyja said the following areas would have no water supply:

Central Jakarta: Gelora, Bendungan Hilir, Petamburan, Karet Tengsin, Petojo Selatan, Kebon Melati, Kota Bambu, Kebon Kacang, Kampung Bali, Jati Pulo, and Cideng.

North Jakarta: Angke, Jembatan Lima, Tambora, Glodok, Mangga Besar, Tangki, Ancol, Pekojan, Roa Malaka, Penjaringan, Pluit, Pinangsia, Mangga Dua Selatan, and Pejagalan.

West Jakarta: Kemanggisan, Palmerah, Tomang, Grogol, and Slipi.

South Jakarta: Karet Semanggi, Senayan, Kuningan Timur, Semanggi, Pasar Manggis, Menteng Atas, Menteng Dalam, and Guntur.

Areas with low water pressure will include:

Central Jakarta: Bendungan Hilir, Kebon Kelapa, Pasar Baru, Kartini, Petamburan, Kebon Melati, Kampung Bali, and Kebon Kacang.

West Jakarta: Maphar, Taman Sari, Sukabumi Utara, Kebon Jeruk, Duri Kepa, Tanjung Duren, Tanjung Duren Utara, Wijaya Kusuma, Jelambar and Jelambar Baru. (dre)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sewage treatment in the pipeline

The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Wed, 03/25/2009 10:59 AM

The administration is planning to build a sewage treatment network for the city, and more waste treatment facilities, the governor said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said the administration had developed a plan that would adopt a system currently being used in the Setiabudi area near Jl. HR Rasuna Said, South Jakarta, with a network of ducts and a sewage treatment system dam.

Fauzi said the dam was part of the Kuningan area sewage network. It was a pilot project that should have been developed further, but funding had been insufficient at the time of its construction.

“Our cash flow had not been that strong since we were allocating funding to other public services,” Fauzi said.

“We are considering dividing the network into separate clusters,” he said. Each cluster would have its own treatment plant.

“We mulled over this idea some years ago, and there was a plan from Malaysia that used water tanks. But this is not that simple. Those water tanks need to be supported by a network of ducts.”

Fauzi said the administration planned to build open ducts.

“And while this is not really an extraordinary system, the cost is huge.

“It costs more to remove sewage than it does to supply drinking water. I think it will cost more than Rp 1 trillion. We need investors.”

Fauzi said the administration also planned to charge residents for the use of the system. The charge would be billed along with tap water fees.

Fauzi said this billing system was common in developed countries.

“If bills are separated, the public will not want to pay for the removal of sewage,” he said.

The latest data shows that only 3 percent of Jakarta’s population is connected to proper sewage facilities.

The capital has only one sewage treatment plant in Setiabudi, South Jakarta, and waste treatment facilities in Pulo Gebang, East Jakarta, and Duri Kosambi, West Jakarta.

Public Works Ministry data shows that in 2008 there were 1,460,079 households (63.4 percent of those in Greater Jakarta), which disposed of their sewage waste into closed gutters; 784,568 households or 34 percent dumped their waste into open gutters; and 56,139 households flushed their waste directly into the ground or into rivers.

Most gutters, however, are not connected to sewage treatment plants, but to waterways, thus causing massive pollution problems in the city’s 13 major rivers.

Household waste from toilets, ammonia, BOD (biological oxygen demand) and COD (chemical oxygen demand), have been flushed into these rivers.

A 2008 academic study of an environment ministry plan to control the contamination of the Ciliwung river revealed levels of BOD, COD, and coli bacteria in the Ciliwung river surpassed contamination thresholds, as revealed by Kompas newspaper. (iwp)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slum dwellers choose river over toilet when nature calls

The Jakarta Post, 03/24/2009 

Up shit creek: A man rows a bamboo raft which serves as toilet, bath
 pad, and laundry station, along Ciliwung river in Kampung Pulo in
East Jakarta. JP/Bagus BT Saragih

Jakartans are no strangers to sanitation and hygiene programs launched repeatedly by various government bodies and nonprofit organizations for decades.

But along the tired Ciliwung River, many people still choose to use the river over lavatories when nature calls.

To outsiders, the mobile river toilet in Kampung Pulo in East Jakarta might look like a normal bamboo raft, with a bench for two adults to cross the river in style.

In fact, two users can sit side by side at the back of the raft, chatting and enjoying the river view while excreting.

Former governor Sutiyoso in 2005 said jokingly the Ciliwung River was the longest public toilet in the world.

Kampung Pulo has two 8-meter mobile toilets, locally known as getek. Each one consists of a 2-square-meter roofless compartment built at one end of the raft, subdivided into two cubicles with a small hole in the flooring.

The getek are always busy, particularly during peak hours in the morning, whereas the eight public toilets nearby are deserted. The remaining area of the raft is used for various other activities.

In the morning, while some people are defecating, others are bathing on the other side of the raft. The people bathing on one side of the raft who are chatting along with their fellow bathers, do not seem bothered at all by the people defecating on the other side.

“Sometimes, when we are bathing, human waste comes floating toward us. We just stop bathing for a moment while it floats past us, and then continue bathing,” said teenager Zaky.

Around noon, the number of bathers begins to wane and housewives, oblivious to those defecating in the cubicles, board the raft to wash vegetables.

At 2 p.m. women arrive with their basins filled with clothes to do their laundry, using detergent despite the muddy water.

An hour later, children come to play and catch small fish, forcing the ladies to promptly stop their washing.

“I have a lavatory in my house, but I would rather defecate at a getek, because sometimes the waste gets stuck due to the poor drainage system in this neighborhood,” Zainuri, a resident, told The Jakarta Post.

Another resident, Husin, said that getek were much more convenient than regular toilets.

“When I use a getek, I don’t have to flush and clean myself,” he said.

Zainuri and some of his neighbors cited another reason.

“We have to pay Rp 10,000 [80 US cents] a month for electricity and a cleaner to use the MCK [public lavatory]. But for us, that is a significant amount of money. That’s why I use a getek, because it’s free.”

The head of the neighborhood unit (RT), Hendryaneffi or Efi, disagrees with Zainuri.

“Getek is not actually free. A brand new getek costs around Rp 2.5 million and users have to chip in Rp 50,000 to buy one,” said Efi.

“They pay once for unlimited use, but they actually don’t realize the cost of the impact on the environment is far higher,” she said.

Getting people to change their behavior and stop using getek is tough, Efi said.

“It takes time. They have used getek for generations,” says Efi. She has tried to get people to use public toilets and the laundry area she built with the Ciliwung Merdeka community.

Herman, a resident of Bukit Duri, South Jakarta, who lives on the other side of the river, recounted his one-month struggle to convert from using a getek to a public toilet.

“That was not easy. I was used to hearing the sound of flowing water when excreting in a getek.

I don’t have it anymore now,” he said, his face forlorn as if missing a loved one.

In Herman’s neighborhood, getek disappeared years ago. The residents, whether they liked it or not, had to get used to using public toilets.

Why does Kampung Pulo still have a getek?

“I will phase out our getek too. I have to do it over a period of time, since many still rely on it,” deputy head of Kampung Pulo subdistrict, Nazimuddin, said.

According to Nazimuddin, the subdistrict has eight MCKs to serve a population of 24,000, or 3,000 per MCK.

However the underlying problem is not merely a logistical one, said the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

“The Kampung Pulo case is the perfect example illustrating that raising awareness is far more important than just building facilities. It is something that seems to be forgotten by the government,” said Selamet Daroyni, head of the Jakarta branch of Walhi. (bbs)