Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika made a spirited defense of a recommendation he issued on behalf of PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (PT TWBI) for the development and reclamation of an island in Benoa Bay located within a protected mangrove forest area.
Reported by Radar Bali, the governor made the following points:
- Pastika defended the reclamation project covering 838 hectares in Benoa Bay as being of critical importance to the people of Bali.
- The Governor vehemently denied as without basis corruption allegations filed with the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Agency (KPK) that he had received a bribe in connection with his support of the reclamation project.
- Pastika explained that the planned reclamation will actually generate new land owned by the province and will yield more than 400 hectare in new forested areas.
- The operating license to be granted to PT TWBI is for a fixed period of 30 years, extendable for an additional 20 years, meaning the new land mass created will eventually be under the complete ownership and control of the people of Bali.
- Denied claims that the recommendation granted to PT TWBI is in violation with existing land-use laws, insisting those who drafted the recommendation were lawyers well versed in the law.
- Responded to those saying the new project will transgress his office’s moratorium on new hotel projects in Bali, saying that Bali is not oversupplied with accommodation. In a reversal of an earlier stance on accommodation supply in Bali, Pastika now says calculations of the supply and demand in hotel rooms done by the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) are in error.
In a move to achieve a consensus and quell the ongoing debate over the reclamation planned for Benoa Bay, Governor Pastika will invite all interested parties to an open meeting to discuss the project planned for August 3, 2013.
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