April 28, 2008 / 4:15 AM / 12 years ago

Indonesian VP criticised over car use

JAKARTA, April 28 (Reuters) - Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his security personnel will be quizzed by environmental officials for using vehicles during a car-free day in part of the capital, the Jakarta Post newspaper reported.

The teeming capital of around 10 million people, which suffers notorious traffic problems, introduced the car-free day on the fourth Sunday of every month in an effort to improve the air quality in the city.

Kalla took part in a fun walk on a main street between the country’s national monument and a major roundabout, while his security detail trailed him in cars, the paper said.

"I will search for information on the matter. I have yet to issue any reprimands," Budirama, the head of Jakarta’s Environmental Management Board, told the paper.

A spokesman for Kalla was quoted by the paper as saying that using the cars was necessary to ensure the security of the vice president and it was permitted under a presidential code.

The car-free day was launched last year and local media reported at the time that the then governor of Jakarta and his deputy arrived in official cars to launch the event rather than using more environmentally friendly modes of transport. (Reporting by Harry Suhartono, editing by Ed Davies)




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