Twelve urban wards in East Jakarta may experience water shortages over the next couple of days as planned maintenance is carried out on a major pipeline.
Rika Anjulika, a spokeswoman from private water operator Aetra, told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday that Kampung Baru, Cibubur, Cijantung, Ciracas, Dukuh, Kelapa Dua Weta, Kalisari, Susukan, Cipayung, Gedong and Pekayon would be affected but customers would ultimately receive a better service.
“In order to provide a better water supply, we are rehabilitating and changing the main water pipeline,” she said.
Rika said the 1.4 kilometer-long pipeline was originally built by the Dutch in 1922, and was in urgent need of upgrading.
The maintenance works, she said, would be conducted during the night from 9 p.m. and would hopefully be completed by Saturday morning.
“We have decided to do it during the night because we assume that there will be less people using water at that time,” she said.
“Hopefully, we will have it done by 3 a.m. as many customers will be waking up to conduct the morning prayer.”
Rika said Aetra would be providing free water to customers experiencing problems with their supplies, bringing in water by truck during the maintenance period.
“We are opening a 24-hour call center, at  577 2010, for our customers who need water. We will send a water tank to them,” she said.
However, supplies from water tanks would have to be coordinated with local communities because they each carried about 4,000 liters, she added.
Tulus Abadi, managing director of the Indonesian Customer Protection Foundation (YLKI), said water operators should provide compensation to customers if there were service disruptions due to maintenance works.
“They must provide their customer with a free water supply while the maintenance is being done because if they don’t, they will be in violation of the 1999 Consumer Protection Law,” he said.
He said Aetra should also provide discounts to affected customers’ monthly bills.
Rika, meanwhile, said Aetra had informed its customers about the upgrade via SMS, in local media and through local officials.
Sutardi, head of the Cipayung urban ward, however, told the Globe on Thursday that he was yet to receive any notification of the planned works and resulting supply problems.
One Cipayung resident, Evi Rahayu, said that while she appreciated the attempt to improve services, she had doubts.
“Will it be any good?” she said.
In the past, she said, repairs just meant water supplies being shut off. Elisabeth Oktofani
Maintenance Work Set To Cause Pipes to Run Dry in East Jakarta