Writer and Photographer: Iqbal Kusumadirezza
My name is Silvi Febrianti. I am a college student at Faculty of Law and Syariah UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung. I was one of the local people (villagers) who was affected by KCIC construction development in Bandung. My house was in Gempolsari, Cijerah, Bandung. It was planned that there would be built a high-speed railway (KCIC) track in that area. I knew about this information 4 years ago, in 2015.
Earlier, in 2016, me and my friends helped in the advocacy process involving some of villagers whose land or houses would be affected by this KCIC project. There were about 150 families of villagers from Tegalluar, Gedebage and Cibiru Wetan that would be forced to leave their houses. They managed to get compensation money for their land at a fair price. The contractor (PT WIKA and KCIC) paid their land in the range on Rp 170,000 to 220,000 (USD 12.44 to 16.09 dollars) per square metre. The price was reasonable because their houses and land were located in a strategic area near the city.
After we were done with the assistance and advocacy process with the villagers, I got bad news from my family. It was that my family had also been affected by this KCIC project. I heard the news from my father and my friends. They told me that my house and many other houses in my hometown would be evacuated because of this KCIC project. This KCIC project in my hometown area has been going since November 2016. There were about 20 families that had to leave their houses. Some of them got their compensation money already, but I and the other families had not yet, even though the project was located near our houses.
Today, we can always hear a lot of noise from the construction work and heavy construction tools. It’s very disturbing. They were building the foundation for construction using heavy equipment. They made a lot of noise that could be heard from our house. Another disturbing problem was heavy vehicles, like trucks, that go back and forth near our house They covered our roads and houses with thick dust. The surrounding air became dusty. My family had to use masks to prevent us from breathing the dusty air.
Until now, I have not heard any news from my family or government (village officials) about our land compensation money. It’s not clear enough when we will get it, and how much we will receive. I wanted to move as soon as possible after we received the money, but another problem that arises was where we will live after we move. My neighbours had received their compensation money and moved to another location in Bandung. Some of them moved to another city, like Cimahi, because the land price was cheaper. Many of us who were affected by this KCIC project are confused about how and where to complain or claim our compensation money and our rights. We can only wait and surrender to fate.