Hundreds of residents who live along the river of Jagir located in city of Surabaya Indonesia, restless.  They do not khow about position of the Government of Surabaya municipality and the East Java Provincial administration, to their resettlement; evicted or permitted. In previous evictions, the government argued that the resettlement on the riverbank contrary to local regulation of Surabaya No. 7 of 1992 about Building Permit and the local regulation No. 7 of 2002 about Green Open Space. But on the other hand, there is also a local regulation East Java Province No. 9 of 2007 about management of riverbanks, which is used as an excuse to settle residents.

Actually, riverbank of Jagir is relocation area for illegal traders from the Wonokromo market. This is a policy from Surabaya municipality. Meanwhile, when people make the area as resettlement, the municipality government did not make a firm decision. In fact, there was integration of resettlement into administrative regions of Jagir. They get Identity Card, pay taxes, and other obligations as citizens who live in Jagir.

Even today, there is program for a septic tank installation for residents on the riverbank of Jagir. “The government will provide support to Rp. 2 million to each citizen. While awaiting the arrival of support, Community Organization took the initiative to saving. “Every day, we saving Rp.1000 and we collect up to Rp. 2 million for making of septic tanks. But we’re worried, may be after built it, we evicted and our money is not return, so what can we do?” said Mr. Sajid in a meeting that facilitated by Lakpesdam NU East Java (15/04/11). Community Organization is formed by citizens because some NGO’s who had accompanied them was not optimal.

Mr. Faishal Aminuddin, from Lakpesdam NU East Java, said that he would facilitate citizen and governments both municipality and provincial government to solve this problem. He would make this problem as a national issue and advocated it with other elements. He said that it isi not just about place to stay, but also will have an impact on many condition such as psychology, economics and the future for children and families of eviction victims. In addition, residents who have been displaced will have difficulty in handling administrative citizenship, such as identity cards or family card. In fact, if they are sick, maybe Jamkesda (Community Health Insurance) and education public funds are difficult to access and used by people because their administrative place is not clear. This is led to concern the people. Moreover, a number of evictions since 2009, without clear information related to their position such as place of living, jobs and public services. The people said the government was not clear in determining the urban master plan. This leads to overlapping territorial and not even clear who is responsible for handling victims.

Cheap Flat as Relocation Policy

When the Mayor of Surabaya was held by Bambang D.H, the government through provincial government initiative had built a few blocks Flats for victims of eviction. “We can get the flat apartment at the time, if we have Identity Card as people of Surabaya,” said Fatmawati, a people who live on riverbanks of Jagir. He told, there are some victims who had inhabited these flats, there is a pay monthly, there are free to use as compensation, but many of those do not get the flat because it was booked by another people who outside of evictees. Therefore, information about the requirements and criteria for the people who inhabit the towers is very important. They were hopes that the towers have been built for those with a low price. In fact, one of the towers are built by the government, was expensive, located in Gunungsari because it is designed similar as luxury towers. They also want that the government make access and business area around the towers, so that they can build a small business.

This forum reached a consensus that the first step to solve this problem is to obtain complete and accurate information, and then held a meeting with the local government. Faishal explained to people that currently, we have Law No. 14 of 2008 about Keterbukaan Informasi Publik (Public Information Openness). This law provides legal guarantees for citizens to obtain public information requested.

Some of the information that has been mapped by the community for solutions to their problems:

1.      Information about the concept and model of the arrangement of riverbank, legality and status of land use rights to the East Java Provincial Irrigation Office.

2.      Information concerning evictions of riverbank settlement to the Governor of East Java.

3.      Information related to the policy of the Surabaya municipality related with riverbank issue to the Mayor of Surabaya.

4.      Information about the impact of evictions riverbank to the Social Service Agency of Surabaya municipality.

5.      Information relating to residence status of the people in riverbank to the Agency of Citizens and Civil Administration of Surabaya municipality.

6.      Information regarding the agenda and the status of development in the area of riverbank to the Public Infrastructure Agency of East Java Province.

7.      Information relating to social and employment policy for victims of eviction in riverbank from Governor of East Java.

8.      Information about the requirements and criteria for the people who inhabit the towers from Flat management unit.

After request some information, the people are planning hold a meeting with Government of Surabaya municipality and East Java Province. They hope the disclosure of information be the first step to solve the problem.