The land surface in Jakarta is sinking at a rate of 5 to 20 centimeters a year.
That was the result of study by the Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI), and research by Bandung Technological Institute (ITB) between the year 1982 and 1997.
Considering that 40% of the land surface in Jakarta is lower than the sea level, there is a possibility that several area including elite area like Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Kuningan, Kelapa Gading and Ancol Beach Resort will be drowned in the future.
According to WALHI's executive director Ubaidillah, the sinking land surface is caused by large scale pumping of underground water. Beside that, there are many new buildings which are not equipped with underground water reservoir. He said that until June 2009, 364 shopping centers, including 54 malls, have been constructed in Jakarta. Out of Jakarta's total area of 661 Square Kilometers, only 9.6% is allocated for green area (parks, pavements).
The Climatology, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BKMG) predicted that the rainy season will reach its peak on January 2009. Increasing sea level and bad drainage system will cause Jakarta to face the worst flood with a height of up to 250 centimeters.
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Considering that Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, I hope that the central government together with the provincial government of Jakarta will make very serious efforts to prevent Jakarta from sinking any further among others by improving the drainage system, stop giving building permits for new high rise buildings, impose heavy penalty on those who violates the regulation for pumping ground water.