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Bali Governor Moving Ahead with Plans for Rail System as Part of Overall Island Access Plan

NusaBali reports that Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster is accelerating efforts to improve the Island’s Transportation Sector. He is actively seeking to establish 10 “shortcuts” on the road between Denpasar and Singaraja via Bedugul and is pushing for the creation of an environmentally and culturally-friendly rail system to circumnavigate the Island.

The Governor wants construction on Bali’s rail system to commence in 2020.

On Friday, May 10, 2019, a coordinating meeting regarding a rail system to travel round the island was held at the Jaya Sabha Official Residence of the Governor. Led by the Governor, representatives of the Ministry of Transportation, the Director General of Railways, government officials charged with research and development (litbang), the CEO of PT Kereta Api Indonesia, and Gede Pasek Suardika the chief of planning at the Secretary General for the Minister of Transportation.

The Governor is enthusiastically supporting plans for a Bali rail system, insisting such a system is a perfect match for the Island’s role as a leading world tourism destination. While plans are to build a system that encircles the entire Island, Koster says the first priority is to build a link between Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport – Mengwitani – Singaraja that will start to be built in 2020, The first step, however, is the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister of Transportation, the Governor of Bali, and the CEO of PT Kereta Api Indonesia.

The Governor is calling for a design for the new rail system that harmonizes with the nature and culture of Bali, while at the same time is environmentally friendly. Said the Governor: “We want a different kind of original design with its own esthetic and character, with a definite local touch. The rail system must be different from that found in other regions. The concept of the rail system sought by Koster is that of an electrically powered train that meets the Governor’s vision and is environmentally friendly. "Bali is small, but is always in the world’s eye,” said the Governor.

Some environmentalist, however, challenge the idea of an electrically driven railroad being “clean” given Indonesia’s growing dependence on electricity produced using coal burning plants.

The Governor insists, however, that his vision for developing more access to Bali by land, sea and sea enjoys “outstanding support” from the public.

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