Infrastructure development is one of government’s efforts to accelerate and expand Indonesia’s economic growth. Various forms of infrastructures have made transportation easier in several provinces. But without policy formulation that respects the environment, development will only bring negative impacts on the quality of the environment.
“Infrastructure provision cannot just be seen from the commercial side, but more importantly the benefit for the people,” said Nurhadi Susanto in his doctoral promotion at Faculty of Law UGM, on Thursday (24/5).
In his dissertation, he researched into environmental protection area in toll roads regulations with the case study of Trans-Java on Solo-Kertosono route.
He said environmental protection in toll roads development became important because most of regions in Java have very low Environmental Quality Index at 52.44 in 2016. Bigger care is needed to formulate toll roads construction projects in Java so as to not exacerbate the current condition.
He added that some of the lands used for the toll roads were highly productive agriculture lands expanding from Boyolali, Karanganyar, Sragen, Ngawi, Magetan, Madiun, and Nganjuk.
“The land conversion from paddy fields, forests, and settlement into roads will affect the function of the land in the long run. Damage in road access around the construction and pollution are also felt by the surrounding communities,” said Nurhadi.
He said such development has caused a considerable impact on the quality of land and community. But he found that the community’s understanding of environmental protection has not led to the possibilities of long term destruction.
“The impact emerging after the construction is the unavoidable social cohesion as well as the unpreparedness of the surrounding people to change profession as farmers. These have not been anticipated by the initiators or operators of the project,” he said.
He suggested the government and related groups to pay more attention to the environmental and social impacts of the construction as well as enhancing environmental protection. Government is also asked to enhance society participation in the environment.
“Environmental awareness improvement needs to be supported by all, so the role of the society and government is needed in terms of environmental awareness development,” said Nurhadi.