IKN Authority: Floods are not in the core government area

Jakarta- The Indonesian Capital City Authority (IKN) this week denied that flash floods in Bukit Subur, Binuang, Sukaraja, Tengin Baru, Karang Jinawi, Pemaluan sub-district, and Sepaku sub-district, North Penajam Paser district were not located in the Government’s Central Core Area (KIPP). They said, the cause of flooding is considered solely due to natural factors such as high rainfall and the influence of sea tides.

“The flood that occurred was outside the KIPP location, but included within the IKN area and impacted the road leading to KIPP,” said Pungky Widiaryanto, Director of Forestry Utilization and Water Resources Utilization Development Director for the Indonesian Capital City Authority during the Ngaso (Online Cool Chat) event with the theme ” GenZ: Talking About Floods at IKN Nusantara”, which was held virtually by Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), Tuesday.

According to Pungky, there are seven flood-affected villages outside KIPP, namely Karang Jinawi, Sepaku, Bukit Raya, Tengin Baru, Sukaraja, Bumi Harapan and Pamaluan. The authority’s evaluation showed that the flooding was caused by the bumpy topography of the Sepaku district, several river sections were found to have inadequate capacity due to houses that cross the river body, other bottlenecks were found due to inadequate culvert capacity and inadequate bridges. Then many people live in areas exposed to floods, land erosion and sedimentation occur downstream.

“Floods occurred at several points along the provincial road to KIPP and are an annual occurrence. While KIPP is located at an elevation of more than 15 metres and hilly, and there has been no history of flooding,” said Widiaryanto.

Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) Executive Director, Mufti Fathul Barri said, the flash flood that occurred on March 17 at North Penajam Paser district as the location of the IKN was caused not only by high rainfall, slope and topography. But also as a response to environmental damage due to the poor forest management and land resources practices so far in IKN in particular, and East Kalimantan in general.

“Forest Watch Indonesia noted that in the entire IKN area there are 83 mining companies, 16 oil palm plantation companies, and 4 forestry companies. This extractive industry practice has changed the landscape of the forest and land that is now designated as the IKN Area. At least in the period 2018-2021 in the IKN area there has been a loss of natural forest covering an area of 18 thousand hectares or the equivalent of 1.6 times the area of Bogor City,” said Barri.

Responding to this, according to Widiaryanto, the PUPR Ministry already has an IKN flood control scheme in 2024. For KIPP, four retention ponds, 29 check dam points, 200 outlet/outfall points, 10 bottom controllers and 365 flood controllers will be built. While outside the KIPP area, the scheme is to normalise rivers, strengthen cliffs, pumps and water gates and improve culverts. (Hartatik)

Banner photo: Cabinet Secretariat Indonesia (Sekretaris Kabinet RI)

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