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Locals oppose construction of Indonesia-Japan initiated power plant


20:22, July 22, 2013

JAKARTA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people living in Batang Regency, Central Java Province, staged a protest on Monday against the construction of a mega coal-fired power plant project initiated by Indonesian and Japanese governments.

The protests was conducted by at least 150 locals living around the planned project, who demanded cancellation of the project as it would harm their livelihood and risk the sustainability of fishing area waters that has been supporting their life.

"We strongly oppose the construction of Batang coal-fired power plant. We urge Indonesia and Japan governments to cancel the project as the investment would confiscate our land, ruin our way to earn for our living, threat further life of our children and grand children," said Kasmir, a Karanggeneng villager who took part in the protest.

The construction of the mega project that requires up to 500 hectares of land would submerge five villages in Batang Regency that comprised of Karanggeneng, Roban, Ujungnegoro, Wonokerso and Ponowaneng.

Protesters said the project would submerge 124.5 hectares of productive agriculture plantations that are already facilitated with irrigation system.

Besides, the project would take the fish and coral reef-rich Sea Conservation area in Ujungnegoro and Roban villages, they added.

The protest was to respond the recent meeting between a senior deputy minister in Japanese cabinet Yasutosho Nishimura and Indonesian Coordinating Economy Minister Hatta Radjasa regarding the project, which has a capacity of 2,000 mega watt.

During the meeting, the Japanese official asked Hatta to speed up the land acquisition process so as to soon commence the project.

If the construction is successful, the coal-fired power plant would be the largest one in Southeast Asia region.

Indonesia is now intensifying efforts to construct infrastructures, aiming to facilitate investors who intend to operate in the country. The country has attained high growths above 6 percent in the last few years, which attracted investors for its proven economic resilience and provided lucrative market for their businesses.

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