SAMARINDA, JARING.id - Samarinda City can be said to be an example of a city in Indonesia that contains great irony. As the capital city of East Kalimantan province, it often loses its prestige to the city of Balikpapan which is further south, because various domestic flights generally land in Balikpapan rather than Samarinda.
Samarinda City is a dense city. The area of the city is more than 700 thousand square meters, while the current population reaches 828,303, according to BPS data that explains this fact.
Another irony is that 70 percent of Samarinda's land is controlled by mining, leaving no less than 175 holes as part of the dredging activity that has occurred since the early 2000s. In the last five years, this ex-mining pit located in the city of Samarinda has claimed no less than 24 people.
Black gold has long been extracted from the bowels of the earth in Samarinda City. According to Ita Syamtasiyah Ahyat in his book Sultanate of Kutai 1825-1910: Political and Economic Changes as a Result of the Penetration of Dutch Power, the colonials had dug coal in Pelarang Samarinda in 1861 - 1872, before finally being handed over to the Sultan of Kutai.
Samarinda is also a port city. This city, which is split by the Mahakam river, is the main entrance to the Kutai Sultanate. This strategic position has caused its population to be filled by various ethnicities.
Only a small amount of mining history remains in Loa Kulu, which is now in the Kutai Kartanegara Regency area. The mine, which is estimated to have started operating in 1888, is not far from the coal mine in Ombilin, Sawah Lunto. Until now, the remains of the underground mining tunnel from the Netherlands are still there, although not maintained.
“The coal industry here is actually coming slowly, because it has started a long time ago in Europe and America. The Netherlands has not looked at coal because their expertise is more in plantations, ”said Fajar Alam, Chairman of the East Kalimantan Association of Indonesian Geologists (IAGI), Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
Fajar, who is also active in the Samarinda Bahari community, explained that during the Old Order era, Dutch companies were nationalized. Coal mining is integrated into the National Coal Mining Company. In 1968, coal mining in Indonesia entered a new stage with the formation of the National Coal Company which operated in three regions, namely Ombilin in West Sumatra, Bukit Asam in South Sumatra and Mahakam in East Kalimantan. However, in 1970, the mine in the Mahakam area was closed for economic reasons and the petroleum industry was born.
In the late 1970s, along with the international oil crisis, coal was again seen as a source of industrial energy. The government has begun to hook foreign investors to extract coal. The President issued Presidential Decree Number 49 of 1981 to collaborate with private contractors in managing the mine.
In the early 90s, the cooperation contract changed to a work contract, after the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 21 of 1993. This change changed the form of deposits from in kind to cash. This agreement system became known as the Coal Mining Exploitation Work Agreement (PKP2B).
In 2009 the government issued Law No. 4 of 2009 on Mineral and Coal Mining. This regulation requires mining permit holders to deposit a reclamation guarantee (jamrek) to the government before carrying out mining activities. With this fund, it is hoped that the environment and ecosystems which have been disturbed by mining activities can function again.
The intention of the law may be good, but in reality the problem of reclamation funds has never been clear, nor is it the amount that must be paid and obeyed by the license holders. When the wave of victims who fell due to the ex-mining hole was left open, the East Kalimantan provincial government began to feel confused about the situation.
Following the issuance of the law, the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration issued a Government Regulation on Reclamation and Post Mining (PP No. 78/2010). Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment also issued a ministerial regulation regarding Environmentally Friendly Indicators for Open Coal Mining Business and / or Activities. In this Ministerial Regulation, it is stated that one of the Environmentally Friendly indicators is the minimum distance of the mine is 500 meters from residential areas.
The provincial government of East Kalimantan in 2013 issued a Regional Regulation on the Implementation of Reclamation and Post-Mining which recommended the establishment of a Reclamation Supervisory Commission. This commission was finally formed three years after the regional regulation was signed. Later in June 2016 the East Kalimantan DPRD also created a Special Committee on Reclamation which was tasked with finding a solution to the problem of the mine hole which had claimed many victims. (Baihaqi)