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Kalahien’s bridge has being built. This picture was taken in early June 2010. Infrastructure development has easier to accessibility for all parties. It developed the under-developed regions, isn’t it?

There is a motor boat, known as the ferry, used as a means of crossing over the River Barito. Besides carrying passengers, it also raised a few cars and motorcycles, with a tariff of 100 thousand for car and 25 thousand for motorcycle. It operates only two ferries every day, each one with an opposite route.

As I had known, there are only three management group of this boat. They operate every ten days and the managers of income had reached 15 million per day. On average, each boat has workers between 5-7 people. Two men acted as helmsman and his assistant. The rest is a park interpreter with great responsibility.

How could I not? They should be able to arrange car and motorcycle on the decks and keep them safe as the capacity of the boat. They also set the rise and fall of car or motorcycle through two wooden bars with a safe as possible. It’s very risky.

I was staring at the edge of a ferry crossing. However, it seemed to fly me to the memories of thousands of miles away, a memory of ferry that sailed a small river in the number of Gresik Regency industry.

The river was not how wide. It named as Kali Tengah, the branch of Brantas River, it which never recede in the dry season. This small river is one marker of nature, separates between south of Gresik and north of Sidoarjo. Both areas are crowded with hundreds of factories and thousands of villages surrounding them. It has packed, coincide-crush and so noisy-smoky. But the workers had no other choice. They must stay.

Not a few of them who lived across the river and work on other rivers. They had to cross, but the bridge very far away.

From this reason came the ferry service. They call it tambangan. It could be as popular because it is driven ferry raft by pulling a rope across a river. Each end of the mine has been firmly attached to the hook on the riverbank. Occasionally the driver was mined using a paddle. He uses it to make plays every time the bow of the raft anchored in the river side.

The passengers would have to spend. Not much, only 500 for all crossings, all worth, whether on foot or riding a motorcycle. It has auspicious for owners of tambangan and make it easier for workers in the middle of the minimum wage mediocre.

While here, in my place, the people still commonly use the river pulse of social and economic life.

And, that stretches in front of my eyes is the Barito River. It passes from the foot of the mountains to the north Muller headed to south, divides the city of Banjarmasin and then ended up in the Java Sea. At least, it was stretching as far as 900 km with a wide body that varies, between 650-1000 m in many places.

Throughout my eyes staring toward the river, there is no so much busy as motorboat traffic. One possible cause is Banjarmasin. It is a big city which supplied a lot of consumer goods for those who live along this river.

The traders will stop motor boating in the township-village and small town. They sell goods manufacturer who produced the city and buy agricultural products of the people, some various types of refined products manufacturer in the form of food, clothing and shelter traded with a variety of traditional crops. There are rice, eggs and meat, the starchy, various oils, a variety of fabrics and garments, home furnishings trade places with rubber, rattan, fruits, assorted fresh water fish and vegetables.

Therefore, some villages and towns can catch up this river is called the local trading centers that bring together the interests between urban and rural consumption. And finally was the meeting of two cultures, between local and migrants, interactional of diverse nature. I said it has the harmonization and conquest.

A Conquest? Yes. Some minor groups have dominated by major groups.

The minorities have the tradition of the peasantry. They live in a system of hereditary ownership or ownership ancestors. This system is commonly referred to as Ancestral domain in terms of anthropology. Its general character is the social ownership of the land by the community. Land socially done and the results are divided socially.

Thus the system pushed by other tribes who chauvinistic through land-grabbed, the monopoly of land and conquest by violence. The situation is making them run to the mountains to survive.

The conquerors also provide stamp stereotypes. They called them as the backward tribes, primitive, stupidity, full of magic and mysticism, violent, and so forth. Thus the term is used to create public opinion about the picture of minorities is very ugly and aims to facilitate the expropriation of land for mining and plantation companies. On the other hand, due to the capture, it makes the minorities vote is closed and not easily trust those who come from outside the community.

Suddenly, “Mas, kita sudah hamper berangkat, ”

The ferry had ready to departure.

While one other passenger who was standing not far from me was giving orders to his friend, he asked his friend to take a picture immediately.

“Fotolah ferry itu. Tak sampai tahun depan, kita tak bakal melihatnya lagi, Karena Kalahien sudah jadi,”

It’s true. As the official at the provincial environment department of public said that works to convince the general public that a bridge over the river will be completed in 2010. The bridge was named Kalahien, with length 620 meters. Approximately 420 yards along the left side and right side of the bridge has been completed. Stay settlement along the main span of 200 meters.

I can see it from here. The statement quoted from the official government website entitled Jembatan Kalahien Satukan Warga Barito 07 Juli 2007.

According to the same sources, that road and bridge from the provincial capital to where I stand is built from the allocation of state budget funds. This path is known as the middle of the causeway. Here there are four bridges. Three of them have been completed. Each is Mangkatip Bridge (144 meters), Murui Bridge (188 meters) and Timpah Bridge. While Kalahien Bridge construction is in progress.

It is the hope for those people who live around this river area that with the completion of construction of roads and bridges. It will facilitate the flow of ground transportation as well as shorten the travel distance, travel time cut by half. Because the route before requiring them to travel further afield. Old roads are available only through the capital of a province in the south of the island.

That roads and bridges also attracted owners of oil palm plantation companies and mines companies. They need to facilitate the mobility of business to transporting goods consumption and mobility of labor from cities to the hinterland. At the other side, it used to transport crops from the countryside to city transit, before being shipped to domestic buyers in overseas markets, which serve industrial markets on worldwide scale, getting proceed it, then marketed it back to this country as consumer goods and consumer culture that accompanies it.

Local provincial government did not want to miss this matter. Not just roads and bridges, they have devised a blueprint to develop the railway that connects the eastern-western provinces in the middle lane. And the middle-lane is the ‘hottest’ operation of the various mining companies and oil palm plantations.

Of course, such infrastructure things are an important element in moving the wheel of development, in order to have the nature of sustainability. In the definition of sustainable development, I had agreed with the view of Iwan Budhiarta, S. Si, MT, Head of Cooperation Division, Training & Consultancy, Technology Management Master Program – Sepuluh November Institute of Technology, Surabaya. I quoted from an article entitled Strategi Pembangunan Berkelanjutan Pada Sektor Pertambangan di Indonesia which is uploaded on the environmental mailing list last May 9, 2005.

He argued that there are there opinions of all aspects of development activities which undertaken to sustain and support the process of future development in the interests of future generations as well.

He added that sustainable development was stressed that development must be able to describe the existence of harmony and harmony in the use of natural resources, human resources and artificial resources that takes into account sustainable conservation efforts. Related to that, then not only people-to people who have the right and obligation to participate in environmental management, but also a group of persons or legal entities or laws involved in the utilization of biological resources and non-biological.

In actual circumstances, the foreign investment-based industry is already directing attention to the amount of the natural resource sector, as large-scale monoculture plantations, mining and exploration of mineral fuels.

Fuss diverse industry over an area of the region requires the availability of a very large business. Soil, water and sea as agrarian resources are the goal. The exploration and exploitation of natural resources was organized based on the acquisition of three large scales, which is in turn results in the field of environmental degradation, such as deforestation and the loss of biodiversity or increasing emissions of greenhouse gases.

It also made some tenure disputes susceptible, between the people’s land versus the business license of the company bagged. This permission is obtained from the organizers of this country. Yet, the local people and minorities always became the victims. They no longer have the governance and forced to sell its workforce as laborers on plantations with hired very cheap and there is no assurance of adequate safety.

Therefore, we should look at as two sides of the coin, between trade and development. And the river goes by as the road.

*This article has been uploaded by Babakan Blog

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