100 people have signed a protest petition rejecting the ongoing construction of a restaurant, swimming pool and spa complex on the Selagan Beach at the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) on the tip of Nusa Dua. The petition lists a number of ways investment at the State-owned BTDC are suppressing the normal activities of the common people.
According to the Bali Post, the petition was advanced by four elements of the local community representing youth, local citizenry, traders and fishermen. The protest was sent to the chief director of the BTDC, with copies forwarded to the Bualu police precinct, the South Kuta District Chief (Camat), the head (Bendesa) of the traditional village of Bualu and the leader (Lurah) of Benoa.
The four main objections raised in the document were:
• First, a concern that the new construction will limit public use and access of beach areas, citing how this has already occurred at traditional temples standing on the grounds of several hotels located within Nusa Dua. The petitioners are specifically concerned that religious access to the Nusa Darma and Bias Tugel temples will be impeded by the restaurant, pool and spa construction now underway.
• Second, the need for recreational areas for children and families and that the area occupied by the new complex represents one of the last available shore side spaces still available to local people for relaxation where they can buy inexpensive snacks from local traders,
• Thirdly, that the livelihoods of local small traders will be disrupted by the new project at Nusa Dua.
• Fourthly, that the project will detract from the overall image of Nusa Dua which still remains a popular destination in Bali for domestic tourists.
Those signing the protest petition have given the BTDC until March 2, 2011, to formally respond to their appeal, threatening further action if the BTDC chooses to ignore their actions.
The petitioners are asking that the restaurant and pool project be halted or, at the very least, they be given an ironclad guarantee that their existing rights and privileges will continue undisturbed.
Commenting separately in NusaBali, the vice-regent of Badung has called on the BTDC to pay heed to the protests and take steps to ensure that public beach access is maintained. While admitting that the project is being built in accordance with local licensing and permit requirements, the vice-regent said this does not in itself absolve the BTDC from the requirement to socialize their project while accommodating the aspirations of the local populace.
The project now being built is reported to occupy a piece of land measuring 4-5 hectares containing a restaurant, pool and spa complex.
In a recent development, the House of Representatives of Badung (DPRD Badung) has joined the chorus, calling on the BTDC to halt construction of the project on Selagan Beach.
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