Heru Budi Hartono, Floods, Traffic and Spatial Planning
Heru served as North Jakarta mayor in 2014 when Jokowi was the capital city’s governor. The first issue he tackled was connecting the Cakung-Cilincing toll road.
Starting Monday (17/10/2022), Jakarta will be led by interim governor Heru Budi Hartono after he was inaugurated by the Home Minister in Jakarta. Kompas interviewed Heru in his office at the State Palace complex on Thursday (13/10). The following are some excerpts:
Can you share with us how and why President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo entrusted you with the interim Jakarta governor post?
“Because President Jokowi believes I can do it, I am capable of it,” said Heru.
Heru served as North Jakarta mayor in 2014 when Jokowi was the capital city’s governor. The first issue he tackled was connecting the Cakung-Cilincing toll road. At the time, the toll road had not been connected whereas the Public Works and Housing Ministry, who constructed the toll road, had already been fined.
“I coordinated with the police chief, Dandim [regional military command] as well as the residents who filed the lawsuit. The issues were resolved once there was an agreement that residents will receive compensation,” said Heru.
The second issue he settled was cleaning up the BMW Park, now the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS). He took care of the land assets and certificates for the area that the stadium is located as JIS was intended to replace the Lebak Bulus Stadium after it was converted into Jakarta’s MRT depot.
Together with the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police and community leaders, Heru also brought order to hundreds of houses around the Pluit Reservoir and revitalized them. “The Pluit Reservoir has a 30-percent capacity to handle flooding,” he explained.
The third issue he successfully handled was keeping North Jakarta safe and conducive during the 2014 presidential election.
How does it feel to know that you will be the interim governor overseeing the management of the capital over the next 2.5 years?
I’m rather pensive. I felt the same when I was appointed mayor of North Jakarta.
When the final assessment team (TPA) made its decision, I was preoccupied. I actually only found out about it through the media. Then I asked several officials about it and they confirmed it.
I’m pensive because it’s a heavy burden. Moreover, I’ve only been given 2.5 years and I’ll have to meet the residents’ expectations. Observers are already writing everything that needs to be done.
I will work, work, work. The most important issue, without a doubt, will be handling floods. But we have prepared other foundations too.
What strategies have you prepared to carry out this mandate?
Over 2-2.5 years, I will work hard to fulfill my responsibilities to the best of my ability. I will work, work, work. The most important issue, without a doubt, will be handling floods. But we have prepared other foundations too.
What aspirations does President Jokowi have for your leadership until November 2024?
The President listed three issues for me to overcome, namely flood management, traffic congestion and spatial planning in Jakarta.
What specific steps will you take to overcome these three issues?
First, regarding floods, I have had experience in flood management in 2004. At the time, the Jakarta governor was Pak Sutiyoso. We had to widen the Angke river, which was 4-5 meters, to 60 meters. Thank God, I managed to do that. I’ve looked at the maps already, there are some rivers [that can be widened] and some that can’t. We will discuss this further if necessary but it will require the President’s support, as a presidential decree or regulation would be needed to provide compensation for those that will be affected. We will see later.
We can approach the issue of traffic congestion by completing the expansion of the transportation network and roads. Either the route network or the Transjakarta service map needs to be expanded. Additionally, we must accelerate the construction of the north-south Jakarta MRT corridor, as well as the east-west corridor.
Regarding spatial planning, Heru will attempt to lay the groundwork for rearranging spatial planning, such as government areas and commercial buildings so that Jakarta’s original revenue can be maintained even when it is no longer the country’s capital city.
What do you think is the most important thing to do to overcome those three issues?
I realize that this is a heavy burden that I cannot carry alone. Thus, all parties must contribute.
I will go on a tour of duty to visit all stakeholders.
I will also invite my colleagues from the Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) to go on impromptu visits too.
Will you be making some impromptu visits as well?
Yes, I already have some plans. Related to that, I will definitely be making some field visits. I will be looking at Public Works and Housing agency projects, looking at roads. In terms of health, I will also check with the health agency. I will check in with the people and listen to their aspirations. I will also invite my colleagues from the Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) to go on impromptu visits too.
From your meeting with Pak Anies on Thursday (13/10), did you discuss anything specific or crucial that needs to be completed?
He was the capital city’s governor for the 2017-2022 period so I have to know what his visions are. His visions are quite good and we will continue to carry them out. But because I only have two years, we will later determine priorities. Flood management and traffic management have been ongoing since the days of Pak Soerjadi, Pak Wyogo and so on. All that’s left is to prioritize.
Will there be a rotation in personnel in the future?
It is possible, since there is Circular Letter No. 821/2022. Personally, aside from the circular letter, I will also seek permission from the Home Minister and the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister as well as ask for recommendations from the Civil Service Commission (KASN). How? I will ask for permission and bring the letter. No one should be offended. No non-staffs will be rotated here and there, this is called a tour of duty.
I have to go around and communicate with the Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda), the chief of the Jakarta Military Command (Kodam Jaya), the chief of the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad), the chief of the Metro Jaya Police and the Marine Corps chief.
Jakarta will be the epicenter for the 2024 elections. How do you plan on keeping Jakarta safe?
This is one task that requires a lot to be done. I have to maintain communication. I have to go around and communicate with the Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda), the chief of the Jakarta Military Command (Kodam Jaya), the chief of the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad), the chief of the Metro Jaya Police and the Marine Corps chief.
Hopefully Jakarta will be safe.
All the best, Pak Heru.
(This article was translated by Kesya Adhalia).