The lack of rules, or at least the lack of enforcement of the rules that do exists governing restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak corridor, is a growing source of community unrest - adding further to that area's notorious reputation as the lawless corner of the island of Bali.
The impotence of enforcement officials in enforcing the law is underlined by the continuing operations of two bars located on Jalan Benesari in Kuta: Kups Corner Bar and Restaurant and Bar Bother Palace. Despite complaints by local residents of excessive noise, surprise inspections confirming decibel levels exceeded by nearly a factor of two the maximum permitted exterior sound levels and the lack of the required operating licenses - both establishments continue to operate. Local accommodation providers in the area and private homes complain that the loud music is played late into the night, disturbing residents and tourist visitors.
Local officials, quoted in NusaBali are calling for urgent and stern official action. The Secretary of Commission B of the Badung House of Representatives, I Wayan Puspanegara, said: "Just close them down, they been warned a number of times, but they continue to act in this way. To the affiliated agencies, the provincial tourism agency (Disparda) and community enforcement agency (Satpol PP) I call on them to urgently take action. In that area, there are homes and accommodations providers."
Puspanegara continued: "This is what you'd call scofflaws. They been reminded and inspected on numerous occasions. Moreover, the public have made written complaints to both the DPR-Badung and the Regency's government."
Separately, the head of the Badung tourist office (Disparda Badung), I Made Subaws, confirmed that both his office and the local village authorities have given reminders to the errant businesses. He also confirmed that the two night spots lack any operating licenses, despites offers of assistance in applying for the needed permits.
Ground Zero = Zero Rules and Regulations
Another member of the DPR-Badung from Legian complained that any existing rules for licenses surrounding Ground Zero and the October 12th Bombing Monument have been largely forgotten.
The Chairman of Commission A of the DPR-Badung, IGN Sudiarsa, told NusaBali that the Regent of Badung issued an order after the October 2002 bombing that businesses along Jalan Legian would be limited to international restaurants as a sign of respect to the tragedy that occurred in the area.
Explained Sudiarsa, "At this time, this area is now used for bars and similar enterprises . . . has the Regent's rule just vanished?"
Sudiarsa lamented the lack of synergy, saying that local officials are not only weak but never take firm action. He called for a review of the rules for Jalan Legian and a clear explanation on what rules apply. The legislator said that the entire street is now crowded with entertainment venues, offending both the historical significance of the area and existing zoning/use rules.
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