Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lapindo Mudflow Tragedy

Four years ago, PT. Lapindo Brantas failed to follow standard procedure for pumping natural gas in Sidoarjo, East Java, causing a never ending hot mud flow that inundated many buildings and commercial lands in the neigbouring area.

Now, the tragedy  has been regarded as a mere natural disaster and responsibility of PT. Lapindo Brantas and its owner have been transfered to the government.

According to Kompas (below) the government of East Java is planning to turn Mudflow site into a Tourist site, for which purpose the amount of 273 Billion Rupiah in fund has been allocated.

Rp273 Billion for Lapindo Tourist Site Allocated
Sabtu, 29 Mei 2010 | 06:01 WIB

 SURABAYA, KOMPAS.com - The government has set aside  Rp273 billion in funds to develop a geological tourist object near the Lapindo mudflow site in Sidoarjo district, East Java, an official said. 
 
"The government through the maritime affairs and fisheries ministry has set aside Rp273 billion in funds to develop Lapindo geological tourist site," East Java Governor Soekarwo said here on Friday.
  
The 83-hectare geological tourist object would be located north of the mudflow site, he said adding: "President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the location some time ago."
  
"The DED (detailed engineering design) of the project will be available in 2011. The project is likely to be started this year," he said.
  
Asked to comment on the land subsidence around the mudflow site, he said there was nothing to worry about it.
  
"The land subsidence can be handled if new embankments are not built. The emergence of new mudflow spots and land subsidence results from the construction of new embankments which add to another burden," he said quoting geologists of the Surabaya-based Sepuluh November Institute of Technology (ITS) and Airlangga University (Unair).
 
To date, there were 180 thousand mudflow spots, including 30 thousand to 50 thousand new ones, he said. The mudflow first began from a crack near an exploratory gas well owned by PT Lapindo Brantas on May 29, 2006. It soon expanded into a mud lake, swallowing houses, factories and schools, leaving more than 15,000 people homeless.

5 comments:

umihoney said...

How feasible is this project. Despite the intended "bail out"..I think the company responsible for this tragedy that made thousands homeless must face the music..how can a company that caused hardship to the people is being rescued by the money of the very same people.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Umi,
Thank you for coming back, I always admired your comments.

This case is part of a political game played by the parties in the ruling coalition. PT Lapindo Brantas is owned by chairman of the Golkar Party that supported the president and his democratic party. So it's a give and take between them, and the people and country become victims and must pay the damages caused.

Yari NK said...

Harry, if you listened in to ANTV news and reports yesterday, they don't call it "Lapindo Mudflow Tragedy" anymore, instead they call it "Sidoarjo Mudflow Tragedy". It seems that they want to erase the word "Lapindo" and replace it with "Sidoarjo". I think they were trying to impress the people that Lapindo is innocent in this ordeal. I believe it is because ANTV is managed and owned by the Bakries.

What do you think Harry? Do you think that you should replace the word 'Lapindo' with 'Sidoarjo' too??

Buditech said...

This has been a war between two big media. Each seen this from referent perspective. Thousand people left without job and houses who . Just like Yari said, someone just try to be innocent

H. Nizam said...

@Yari,
You are very right my friend Lapindo has been trying to change the name of the tragedy into Lumpur Sidoarjo (LUSI). This is in line with their "success" in changing the cause of tragedy from operational mistake into natural disaster based on unclear theories. If they seriously want to find out the cause of tragedy they should invite well known international organizations re: geological, mining, environments etc. to check it out. But like Shakespeare said "what is in a name?" no matter what they call it Lapindo will always be recorded in history as the cause of the tragedy.
The problem is that the government backed them up.


@Buditech,
Yes, someone/group is trying to play innocent in connection with future political plans.