Workers at the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Jakpro Starts Work on Formula E Track in Monas After State Commission Reverses Ban

BY :LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN, YUSTINUS PAAT

FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Jakarta. Jakarta Propertindo, or Jakpro, has started work on a racetrack inside the city's National Monument Park after early this week a central government commission reversed a decision to ban June's Formula E electric car race from the park. 

"The work starts now. We'll lay the asphalt next month," Jakpro president director Dwi Wahyu Daryoto said on Thursday. 

Dwi said the company will install temporary asphalt over the National Monument's historic cobblestone paths. 

This the company says will conform with a direction from the Medan Merdeka Area Development Steering Commission, a multi-ministerial body that oversees the park's development, to make sure the race does not cause permanent damages to the park.  

Dwi said the Formula E asphalt track should be completed two months before the race on June 6.

"We have to get the track ready at least two months before race day. The asphalt has to be completely dry before it gets used," he said.

Dwi said Formula E has installed temporary asphalt over cobblestone paths before for their race in Mexico City and in Rome. 

Jakpro will involve organizer Formula E Organization (FEO) at every step of the track's construction to ensure its quality.

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A bird's eye view of the Formula E race track within the National Monument Park in Central Jakarta. (B1 Photo)

Dhimam Abror, the communication director of Jakarta E-Prix, said the race will feature 24 drivers from 12 teams – Virgin Racing, Jaquar Racing, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, GEOX Dragon, Andretti Motorsport, e.dams, Venturi Racing, NIO, DS Techeetah and Mahindra Racing.

A total of 13 countries are involved in the Formula E race – the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Switzerland, New Zealand, Portugal, Brazil, China, India and Belgium.

Permit Controversies

Last week, the Medan Merdeka Area Development Steering Commission blocked the plan to hold the Formula E race inside the park. The decision was reversed just a few days later but with a warning: the city must follow each stipulation in the 2010 Law on Cultural Heritage and ensure the race will not destroy any part of the park. 

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Tuesday wrote to State Secretary Minister Pratikno, who is also the commission's chairman, telling him the city administration has consulted Jakarta's Cultural Heritage Expert Team and secured their recommendation to hold the race in Monas. 

The governor's story was however refuted by the team's chairman Mundardjito. "I don't know anything about the recommendation. We did not make it," he said on Wednesday.

Jakarta's Cultural Department later confirmed they had never consulted the team for the race. 

Prasetio Edi Marsudi, the speaker of Jakarta's City Council (DPRD Jakarta), raised the issue with Pratikno on Thursday and urged the commission to reconsider its decision to allow the race.

"I'm seeing signs of manipulation. As the DPRD speaker, I feel disappointed. This is public deception," Prasetio, a politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), said. 

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