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It's a Shore Thing

Beachside Restaurant at Popular Candi Dasa Resort Draws Protests from Locals and Legislators.

Bali News:
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Local lawmakers in the Karangasem area of Bali are calling for the dismantling and removal of the Garpu Restaurant located at the Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa, claiming the restaurant violates set back rules dictating minimum distance between the shoreline and permanent building structures.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language DenPost, the Chairman of Commission II of the Regional People's Consultative Assembly (DPRD), Gede Dana, complained: "Whatever the reason, the presence of the Garpu Restaurant clearly violates regional law. Because of this, we have urged the (legislature's) executive to take strong action and dismantle the building as well as impose sanctions on the management of Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa."

During a recent surprise inspection visit to the Seaside Hotel, members of commission II and III of the local legislature concluded that the restaurant, which opened on December 22, 2006, is bisecting local access of the beach. Dana explained: "With the presence of this building, local people and tourists are prevented from taking walks on the beach. Travel to the east or the reverse, they are compelled to go via the main road."

The inspection team found the restaurant extends 12 meters into the sea for length of 80 meters along the seaside. This is in violation of Karangasem regulations (No. 8 of 2003) stipulating a minimum set back distance of 12 meters from the shoreline.

According to DenPost, local legislators are upset with the management of the Hotel who they claim have misrepresented claims that they hold complete building permits for the restaurant when their enquiries with local Public Works and Tourism offices indicate a lack of any permit for the structure. Also adding further irritation for the lawmakers is the fact that the General Manager of the Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa is Wayan Tama, who also serves as the Chairman of the Karangasem branch of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI).

Commenting to the Bali Post, Tama defended the restaurant's construction claiming it was non-permanent in nature and, as such, does not violate the rules. He also told the press the that the ocean has steadily eroded the hotel's original shoreline border over recent years.

The Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa was one of last monthís recipients awarded the Tri Hita Kirana Award presented to recognize regard for balanced development, considerate of the culture of the local Balinese community, the local ecology and Balinese religious beliefs. [See: Bali Awards Tri Hita Karana Tourism Awards for 2006]

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