JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's capital will force drivers to undergo emission tests and consider ordering half of its civil servants to work from home, officials said on Monday, amid deteriorating air quality that has made Jakarta one of the world's most polluted cities.
Jakarta has been consistently ranked among the 10 most polluted cities globally since May and last week topped global rankings compiled by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir. On Monday, Jakarta ranked second.
The government has blamed the problem largely on industry and excessive road traffic but environmental groups point to a coal-fired power plants as the cause, which authorities reject.
The government announced on Monday it would carry out random checks on vehicles and force drivers to undergo emission tests. It will consider fines for those who fail and license revocation for repeat offenders.
It will also require emission tests to be part of the process of obtaining a vehicle registration license. It did not say when the measures would be introduced or how they would be enforced.
"We will start in Jakarta and when it gets better, we will expand it to greater Jakarta," environment minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told a press conference.
Other measures under consideration include requiring cars with 2,400 cc engine capacity and above to use 98-octane fuel, and requiring each vehicle to be carrying four people.
Jakarta residents, which number well over 10 million, have long complained of poor air.
A group of residents won a landmark civil case against the government in 2021, with President Joko Widodo ordered to establish national air quality standards to protect human health, and the health minister and Jakarta governor told to devise strategies to control air pollution.
(Reporting by Ananda Teresia; Editing by Martin Petty)