Published January 21, 2013
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A construction crew is racing to finish a highway encircling Indonesia's traffic-choked capital, but it is being blocked by a determined group of locals and the ramshackle cemetery that is home to their ancestors.
Talks on a new location have yet to reach an agreement accepted by all the relatives of those buried there. That has not stopped authorities digging a new cemetery close to the old one — pointlessly according to locals.
Indonesia's economy is booming but it needs new roads, bridges, power stations and ports. Land disputes such as this one in Jakarta, and other difficulties from corruption to budget-draining populism, make building such infrastructure a long and costly process.
Last week, floods engulfed Jakarta, dramatically exposing underinvestment in the drainage and flood defenses.