Suspending Belief

Doubling Down on Reclamation: Jasa Marga Tol Announces Plans to Build 3,000 Square Meter Rest Area in Benoa Bay
Plans announced to build an elaborate rest area in the middle of Benoa Bay by Jasa Marga Bali Tol (JBT) is drawing fire from traditional groups and environmentalists in Bali opposed to any further change to the Bay's ecology.

As reported by NusaBali, the Chief of the traditional village of Kuta (Desa Adat Kuta) and a coordinator in the large anti-reclamation movement, I Wayan Swarsa, has called on JBT not to further muddy the atmosphere surrounding Benoa Bay by announcing plans to build the “rest area” at a time when tensions are running high over any effort to divert Benoa Bay from its original function as a mangrove forest.

Swarsa said on Thursday, December 29, 2016, “I won’t say I reject or support the plans announced by JBT because I personally have not seen the plans for the development."

Swarsa said that JBT must first socialize the proposed rest area to those living in surrounding areas, particularly when there is such widespread opposition to the reclamation of Benoa Bay.

Swarsa said JBT must explain how the proposed rest area will be constructed, its effect on the local environment, its proposed capacity and how it will be built. JBT, he said, must also explain why a rest area is even needed on a 12-kilometer long toll road.

Swarsa said that no members of the anti-reclamation movement have been invited to a discussion regarding the proposed rest area that will reportedly cover an area of 30,000 square meters suspended on pylons standing in the once protected mangrove. 

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