Jakarta administration to turn ‘Kota Tua’ into Venice

The Jakarta administration plans to give Kota Tua (Old Town) a major makeover and turn the crowded area in northern Jakarta into a Venice-like tourism spot.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said on Tuesday night that the renovation of Kota Tua should turn the area into an exclusive, posh place. The new Kota Tua complex is expected to cater to the middle and upper classes.
“We have to shape Kota Tua as sophisticated and expensive. A five-star hotel will not be exclusive if it sells a cup of coffee for Rp 500 (5 US cent). The same metaphor goes to Kota Tua,” he was quoted by kompas.com as saying.
According to Basuki, the city administration has allocated Rp 12 billion (US$1.25 million) from the 2013 regional budget to restore the semi-slum once known as " The Queen of the East". Much more funds, in excess of Rp 150 billion, will pay for the total renovation of Kota Tua, including several historical buildings, in 2014.
Basuki said that the Jakarta administration would start the makeover by managing street vendors. Then, Basuki said, the administration would clear the area of beggars and thugs.
Kota Tua will never be anything like Venice as long as the heavily polluted Ciliwung river still stinks. Basuki plans to import water purification tablets from Thailand, which he believes will clean the river and kill the mosquito eggs.
The administration will involve local communities and related stakeholders in the restoration project. (Jakarta Post)

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