Spouting Hot Air?
Now, it's just possible that you weren't aware that cars, buses and other vehicles with internal combustion engines tend to emit noxious exhaust fumes, but if you really didn't know that then you've never visited Jakarta.
Those of us who live in Jakarta breathe easier on Sundays and public holidays
, because there are fewer cars. Sundays are the preferred option of Jakarta's Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) to hold car-free days presumably because it's that much easier to divert traffic away from closed roads.
They certainly prove popular with residents
along these streets.The car-free event on Jl. Pemuda comprised cycling and walking activities, music and a bazaar, while children ran around playing soccer on the empty streets.
Mind you, I would have thought a park which is open all week long would prove a greater attraction, but I digress.
As for the beneficial reduction in air-borne pollutants, the BPLHD gave the following 'results' yesterday: the amount of dust particles had decreased by 34 percent, Carbon Monoxide (CO) by 68 percent, and Nitrogen Monoxide (NO) by 80 percent during the last car-free day
(held a couple of weeks ago).
Wow, whoopie do. Don't you just love facts and figures?
And the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has actually praised City Hall for this?EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
, here on behalf of Barack Obama for SBY's reinauguration, praised the Jakarta administration Wednesday for its environmental protection and green transportation programs. She said she was impressed by the way the city of Jakarta and Governor Fauzi Bowo dealt with economic growth without having to sacrifice environmental issues.
“Growth in the economy, for him to have investment in mass transit, car-free day, and further efforts to address air pollution, I think is quite laudable.”
Fauzi said he told Jackson during the meeting about various environmental problems facing the city, including air and water pollution, waste management problems in North Jakarta Bay and the rise in sea level
which, according to the British Meteorological Office Hadley Centre (and Jakartass
) is a doomsday scenario.
Fuzzy also said the city issued many regulations to protect the environment, but their implementation remained a problem.
And within that last bit lies the key - piecemeal implementation indicates indecision caused by ... 'political' considerations? brown envelopes? hidebound bureaucratic procedures and competence?
Take the matter of ensuring that from next month vehicles have to pass an annual emissions test
verified by the display of a sticker.
Ridwan Panjaitan, head of the BPLHD's law enforcement unit, said a couple of weeks ago that the enforcement, stipulated in a 2005 bylaw on air pollution, had been delayed because the administration needed time to educate the public and prepare the garage and mechanics needed for the tests.Four
years?!?He added there were 238 garage and 568 mechanics across the city certified to carry out the tests.Rudy Iman, a service supervisor at a garage in Cilandak, South Jakarta, certified to hold emissions tests told the Post his garage did not have the stickers.“We only have the emissions stickers from last year,” he said.Rudy said he had ordered a batch of new stickers through the Jakarta Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) and PT Global, the distributor, at the end of 2008.“But we haven’t got them even now,” he said.
In addition, the Association of Auto Repair Shop Owners (Asbekindo) chairman Yayat Ruhiyat said garage owners would meet Oct. 29 over the plan.“We haven’t been able to meet sooner because the information about the emissions test is so vague,” he said. “Plus, the printing cost for the stickers and cards is quite expensive, so the certified garages haven’t ordered a lot.”
Meanwhile, the BPLHD is planning to spend Rp.17 billion
(US$1.8 million) on two air-quality monitoring stations next year since only two out of the five existing devices, previously donated by foreign donors, were working.How
That amount of tax payers' money would buy loads of buses to replace the clapped out rust buckets which pass for public transport. As for measuring the air pollution, enough surveys
have been done and articles
written over the years for the talking to stop and action to begin.
If you enjoy kowtowing to American 'experts', Fuzzy, then do please get on with it.
And preferably before the city is totally submerged