The privatization of Jakarta’s water, which has spanned 17 years, has come to an end as judges at the Central Jakarta District Court have approved a lawsuit from the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ).

Presiding judge Iim Nurkhoim said during the verdict on Tuesday evening that the court had granted half of the demands of the plaintiffs.

“The defendants have been negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents,” he said.

KMMSAJ filed a citizen lawsuit against the city administration in November 2013, demanding that the court annul an agreement between city owned water operator PAM Jaya and two private water operators – PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) and PT Aetra Air Jakarta (Aetra).

It claimed that the cooperation had failed to guarantee an adequate supply of clean, portable water in the capital.

“The defendants have also breached the law by handing over water operations in Jakarta to private firms by signing a cooperation agreement on June 6 1997, which was changed on Jan. 28, 1998 and Oct. 22, 2001,” he said.

Iim said the cooperation, made and signed by PAM Jaya director and Thames PAM Jaya, was null and void.

“The court orders the defendants to end the privatization of water in Jakarta and return the operation of water distribution in Jakarta to city owned water operator PAM Jaya, in accordance with Bylaw No. 13/1992,” he said.

KMMSAJ lawyer Arif Maulana said he was glad that the demands of Jakarta’s residents had been granted.

“We call on Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama to take control of water operations immediately,” he said. (nvn)(+++)

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