The Indonesian government plans to build two 1km long, 8m dia. water transfer tunnels near Jakarta in Java as part of a major flood prevention scheme in the capital.

Japanese consultants, supported by staff from the Japanese Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund are finalising cost estimates. But Indonesia’s Ciliwung-Cisadane River development department, which is responsible for the project within the Public Works Ministry, has already pledged to invite international tenders, due to start in 2001.

Head of the river department Adi Sarwoko Soeronegoro said: "We haven’t calculated the total cost of the project because it is still being reviewed by a Japanese consultant, together with local experts."

Soeronegoro confirmed that, once detailed designs were completed, the government would invite international companies to bid for the scheme. He said the tunnels would limit the volume of water flowing into the city from the Ciliwung River.

He said: "It’s common to see Jakarta inundated by floods if there is a huge volume of water from the Bogor or Puncak areas of West Java. The two tunnels will retain the water and funnel it to the sea through Tangerang via the Cisadane river. The tunnels, each with a capacity to handle water flows of 300 cu m per second, would connect the Ciliwung river in Jakarta with the Cisadane river in Tangerang.