Gas Station Fight Rolls on in W. Jakarta

The Jakarta Globe

Residents in West Jakarta said on Friday that they would continue to oppose a gas station being built in the neighborhood over fears about pollution.

A resident, Lenny Suandi, told the Jakarta Globe that the gas station, which is run by Total Oil Indonesia, was being built next door to homes in a residential complex on Jalan Panjang in Kebon Jeruk.

“We’ve rejected the Total pump station since the start because the location is right next to our homes,” the 50-year-old said. “We sent our objection in writing to the mayor, subdistrict head, urban ward head, Total’s management and the Jakarta energy and industry offices in 2010.”

The residents, however, believed the construction had been canceled after a notice board was taken down, she said. But then it resumed again without notice.

Another resident, who declined to be named, said leaks from underground gas tanks could contaminate the local water table and the gas station itself would turn the quiet neighborhood to a busy area for traffic.

Local authorities held a meeting with residents on the issue on Thursday.

Djunaidi, deputy for development and environment at the West Jakarta municipal office, said he could understand the residents’ objections but the gas station had met all the requirements.

“We explained in the meeting that the gas station has met all the requirements and it violates no regulation. Residents understood that in the meeting,” Djunaidi was quoted as saying by the Jakarta administration’s official news portal, Berita Jakarta.

Asep Warlan Yusuf, an environmental law expert from Parahyangan University in Bandung, said feasibility studies on the social and environmental impacts were needed to build new gas stations because such facilities carried risks such as traffic, water pollution and even explosions.

“Spills from the pumps and container leaks can pollute the soil, while the incoming vehicles will add to air pollution. Gas stations should be a safe distance from residential areas,” he said.

Representatives from Total Indonesia could not be reached for comment.

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