NusaBali says 200 large cruise ships cancelled visits to Pantai Ampo in east Bali during 2010 due to the continuing lack of a suitable infrastructure to support such port calls.
The newspaper blamed the cancellations and the resulting deployment to other ports in the region on the failure by Karangasem officials, who control the port, to succesfully complete the construction of a viable operating port.
The head of Bali's Transportation Department, I Made Santha, said, "sadly, the cruise ship dock at Tanah Ampo remains uncompleted."
In the past, large cruise ships visiting Bali via east Bali were compelled to drop their anchors off shore and ferry passengers ashore by ship's tenders. Santha said: "dropping anchor and using tenders is technically unacceptable. This does not meet international safety standards."
Santha said he hoped work on lengthening the current dock would be completed by early 2012. He also said that a government authority charged with operating the port was also needed, adding, "the management is given to the regency of Karangasem who will synergize the operation with the port administrator."
Echoing these sentiments, the man in charge of transportation issues in Karangasem, I Made Sosiawan, insisted the dock would be completed in late 2011 and open for use early in 2012. He told the press that a shortfall in funding of Rp. 70 billion (US$7.6 million) has been covered by the Central Government in Jakarta.
Sosiawan said the Rp. 70 billion was allocated to add 154 meters to the existing dock of 154 meters and construct a breakwater.
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