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An Island of Shopkeepers?

Are Gianyar and other Areas of BaliCluttered with Shophouses?

(1/27/2013) Bisnis Bali reports that the major bypass and tourism thoroughfare of Jalan IB Mantra - running through the Ketewel area - is becoming cluttered with shop houses.

The chairman of the Russian language division of the Bali Guide Association, (HPI-Bali), Nengah Archana, said on Thursday, January 24, 2013, that the area surrounding Gianyar beach is becoming so full of shop houses (ruko) that the natural beauty of the area has been negatively impacted.

He said the proliferation of rukos is affecting Gianyar and many other areas of Bali. The small, simply built stores, typically with apartments on the second floor, create a cluttered look for many parts of Bali.

Archana called on the government to take control and of the mushrooming construction of rukos in Bali, including the area surround Gianyar’s beaches.

Moreover, he said many rukos are built and then abandoned by their owners, adding to the increasing unpleasant aesthetic of Bali.

Also contributing to the tragic decline in Bali’s natural beauty is that many of the rukos once built are abandoned and left empty.

According to Archana, many of these shop houses are standing in what was once productive agricultural lands and now block panoramic views of the oceanfront and surrounding volcanic mountains.

Archana said a master plan for Gianyar’s development is needed in order to safeguard natural beauty and the cleanliness of the area.