Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has officially declared the long-standing polemic over the reclamation of portions of Benoa Bay as “closed.”
As reported by NusaBali, the Governor said the feasibility study conducted by Bali’s Udayana University on the proposed reclamation of Benoa Bay has determined that the proposed reclamation project is not viable.
Based on the results of the Udayana University Study, the Governor has declared the “book closed” in a statement he delivered before Commission X of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in a meeting convened at the Pastika’s office in Renon, Denpasar.
The National Legislators from Commission X made a special visit to Bali to investigate the facts surrounding the reclamation project and a proposal to designate the Besakih Temple and Gunung Agung area as a Strategic National Tourism Zone (KSPN).
Governor Pastika emphasized at the hearing that the problem of reclamation was now moot. Pastika said the reclamation, front-page news in The Bali Post for a number of weeks, would not be carried out.
The Governor explained as a matter of law the reclamation of Benoa Bay cannot be carried out because the area in question is an officially declared conservation zone. Pastika added that when seen from a geographic standpoint, the Benoa Bay a shallow wetland, an obvious to anyone traveling the new toll way that transects the area at low tide. In addition, the governor said the Bay is at risk to damage due to the threat of tsunami that the now-defunct plans were intended to ameliorate through the creation of a series of small islands in the Bay.
Pastika also told the visitors that Bali loses between 600 and 1,000 hectares of productive farmland every year due to new investment. As a result, contends the Governor, there is high demand for new areas to accommodate the land demands of new investors.
Reclamation No Longer an Option
But, referring to the feasibility study carried out by Udayana University, Pastika said: “I have reviewed the results of the study from Udayana, The feasibility study says the project is not viable. Rather than have the polemic continue, yah, there is no need for reclamation.”
Continuing, Pastika said: “Now there is no need for more demonstrations. I have revoked the permit (for further study). It is not possible that there will be any reclamation.”
And while the dispute over the reclamation of Benoa Bay is finally at an end, a separate lively debate continues over a proposal from the Governor to declare Pura Besakih and Gunung Agung as a Strategic National Tourism Zone (KSPN) continues.
Governor Pastika has scheduled a public meeting at his office for November 5, 2013 to discuss plans for the KSPN.
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