Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ancol’s New Attraction: a Giant Pit for Dredged River Sludge

With a kilometer of bamboo scaffolding poking up from the cloudy water in the middle of Jakarta Bay, visitors to the Ancol amusement park can be forgiven for wondering just what is being built several hundred meters offshore.

The answer? A giant, rock-lined pit to hold millions of cubic meters of ooze and sludge dredged from the capital’s clogged rivers and reservoirs — and that should within a decade be firm enough to be used as reclaimed land.

It is the 120-hectare Ancol confined disposal facility, part of a project to clear Jakarta’s clogged and polluted waterways that was recently begun as part of the Jakarta Urgent Flood Mitigation Project, which is being funded by a $150 million loan from the World Bank.

Stephen Lintner, senior technical adviser for the World Bank, said it had overseen continuous testing of sites slated for dredging to ensure that no toxic materials would be layered into the bay.

“It’s not toxic or hazardous. We are quite diligent in examining the environmental perspective,” he said. “Given the shortage of land, you will continue to have land reclamation. It has to be done selectively and with proper oversight.”

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