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This Train, She's Bound for Glory, Well, this Train

Governor Claims Bali Rail System Has Endorsement of Hindu Religious Leaders

(4/19/2013) Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has said any reluctance to move ahead with a monorail transportation system for Bali has dissipated with official blessing now bestowed on the project by Hindu leaders in Bali.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, the governor said: “Thanks you to the sulinggih (Hindu religious leaders) who have laid the philosophical foundation for the monorail plan. There will certainly be many who do not agree and will be upset with this endorsement, but now that we have a philosophical foundation (for the monorail system), I have no fear to move ahead with this plan.”

The governor’s comments were made at a meeting held with religious leaders held in Denpasar on Monday, April 15, 2013.

At the gathering, Ida Pandita Empu Jaya Dangka Ramana Putra, a leading religious figure on the Island, said he agreed with plans by the provincial government to build a monorail as a means to provide more equitable access to the Island’s economy for all Balinese.

Pastika explained that plans to build a monorail system have been in the planning stage for more than two years, but have been prevented from moving forward due to cost issues.

“From an economic perspective based on the study conducted by PT Kereta Api Indonesia (State Railway), the project was labeled as ‘non-feasible’ because of its estimated cost. Earlier this year the Chinese Rail Company declared its interest in developing a monorail system, but there’s been no follow up from that meeting,” explained the Governor.

The Governor’s vision is that the proposed rail system will open up all areas of Bali for economic development, spread the economic benefits of the Island’s tourism development and reduce traffic congestion.

Ida Pandita Mpu Jaya Dangka Ramana Putra - speaking as a ’sulinggih’ or leading representative of the Hindu faith in Bali, told the press that island rail concept is in keeping with religious teachings. Said Pandita: “Hinduism knows the philosophy of ‘Bedawang Nala’ that champions balance in the world. ‘Bedawang Nala’ is symbolized by a turtle and a dragon representations that can be found on every 'padmasana' shrine. In connection with Bali, this concept can become the basis for creating balance between the various regions of Bali.”

Pandita said the monorail can play the role of the dragon that will bind Bali into a solid unit and provide stability to the Island. That stability will be the outcome of creating balance in every aspect of that word.

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