Civil Societies Demand DKI Jakarta Governor to End Contracts with Water Companies

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water companies
Ilustration. Photo: Ist.

Jakarta (Greeners) – Civil societies urged DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to stop contracts with PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya or PALYJA and PT Aetra Air Jakarta arguing that data showed private sectors could only accommodate 14 percent during 21 years working with the provincial government.

Aditya Putra Brata, head of Water Resources and Clean Water Development and Improvement, DKI Jakarta Water Resources Agency, said that in 1998, Jakarta water company or PAM has been partnering with two companies, Palyja and PT Aetra, with 25 years contract, up till 2023. However, up to this date, Jakarta’s clean water distribution from PAM only covers 59 percent, with the rests are supplied by extracting ground water or buying from water sellers.

“Before signing contracts with partners in 1998, as far as I know, PAM water services was 45 percent throughout Jakarta. So, 59 percent is not from zero, but already half being covered by PAM. So, basically, their [the companies] contribution to serve Jakartans is only 14 percent. Hence, judging from this, their don’t have the ability and low achievement,” said Brata in Jakarta, on Tuesday (09/04/2019).

Furthermore, he said that areas yet to be covered by clean water in Jakarta are west, north, and some of south sides.

To meet the demands, people then buy water using jerrycans.

“Currently, water resources in Jakarta is nearly 97 percent supplied from outside of Jakarta; 81 percent from Jatiluhur dam and around 16 percent from Tangerang, which depends on processed water,” he said.

READ ALSO: Clean Water in Jakarta Contaminated with E-Coli Lead to Residents Exploit Ground Water 

Based on the 1998’s contract, concession areas of the partners were divided into two, — eastern parts of upstream to downstream of Ciliwung river will be managed by PT Aetra and western parts will be handled by Palyja –.

Based on data provided by Palyja, customers with access to clean water under Palyja are groups of 40,663 low income households, 2,717 social groups, 117,236 middle class households, 73,580 small and middle households, 128,656 rich and middle households, and 43,949 large scale business, up to 2018.

PT Aetra did not provide comments by the time the article was published.

Furthermore, Brata said that clean water distribution should be managed by the government as private sector will rely on benefits. The system is regulated under government regulation issued in 2015 about Drinking Water Distribution System.

“If private sector will see which sides are profitable and not profitable. If the governor regulation, the lowest rate is Rp1,050 (US$0,074) and the highest is Rp10,000 (US$0,71), if I were private company, of course, I will charge the highest. Hence, the government regulation stipulates water distribution to be managed by the government,” he said. “It does not mean you cannot work together, but there’s a line which one’s allowed and not referring to the government regulation. Yet, if I read the contract in 1998, not much beneficial for the government. It’s unfortunate that the intensity to evaluate it just come recently.”

READ ALSO: WWF: Rivers in Indonesia are in Critical Condition 

Meanwhile, People’s Coalition Reject DKI Jakarta Water Privatization representative, Suhendi, said that the contract did not involve public participation and not transparent, meanwhile DKI Jakarta governor has repeatedly stated that “water is public”.

Suhendi expressed disappointment that DKI Jakarta does not involve public in the policy making to stop water privatization in Jakarta.

“It shows that what DKI Jakarta governor said counter-productive with his attitude in decision making. Minimum transparency and public participation resulted to three mechanisms offered by Water Management Team, which has been conducted for the past six months. However, all these mechanisms don’t provide solution, instead has the potential to repeat the same mistakes and create new problems on water distribution in Jakarta,” he said.

The coalition demands the governor to:
1. Act firm and not giving false promises in enforcing the Constitution to claim water management by the State for people’s welfare.
2. Open public participation in decision making to stop water privatization and return water management in Jakarta to the State.
3. Uphold the Constitution by ending the contract between DKI Jakarta provincial government with PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (PT PALYJA) and PT AETRA Air Jakarta.
4. DKI Jakarta House of Representatives to monitor decision making of water management in Jakarta.

Reports by Dewi Purningsih

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