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Locals blockade PT Bahari Cakrawala Sebuku in Indonesia

Published by MAC on 2003-12-23

Locals blockade PT Bahari Cakrawala Sebuku in Indonesia


December 23, 2003

Local people blocked the operation of PT Bahari Cakrawala Sebuku (BCS) that mines coal on Sebuku Island on Saturday (Dec.20). At the time hundreds of locals living around the mine blocked the company's coal trucks.

The locals wanted the management of PT BCS to directly see the bad impacts of the company's mining operation to their areas. Among the crowd were two members of the local parliament (DPRD) of Kotabaru.

As quoted from local daily Banjarmasin Post, the locals accompanied by Indonesian environmental group Walhi and local MPs together with the company's representatives could finally visit some locations that have badly impacted by the company's operation. The locals would also show a number of areas of their land that have yet to be compensated by the company.

Because of the blockade, the locals together with Walhi and the local MPs were eventually allowed by the company's management to directly see the locations that had been allegedly polluted by the mining activities.

The first location to be visited is waters of Tanah Putih in Sarkaman village. The local MPs were stunned to see the thick and blackish water. "Noticeably the water has in fact been awfully polluted. We must send in experts to conduct investigation," said one of the local MPs. Meantime, BCS' representatives gave no comment.

Locals blocked the company's operation until evening. Because of the blockade, the company's operation had temporarily been stopped for more than six hours. Every hour about 20 of the company's trucks usually deliver the company's coal. Each truck delivers 40 tons of coal at price of US$22 per ton. Thus during the 6 hours, it was calculated that around 120 trucks should have passed the road delivering about 4,800 tons of coal totally worth US$105,600.

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