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Build Your Bridge on Someone Else's Island

Serangan Island Politician Says 'No' to Sanur – Serangan - Tanjung Benoa Toll Road and Bridge.


Bali News:
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(8/8/2008)

As reported on balidiscovery.com, plans to build a series of toll roads to alleviate traffic congestion in South Bali have been plague with funding and investment difficulties making it unlikely that the proposed roads connecting Sanur and Tanjung Benoa, Kuta and Nusa Dua, and the creation of a series of flyovers in Kuta will come to fruition anytime in the foreseeable future.

Pouring further rain on the parade of those wishing to see a toll road and bridge connecting Sanur and Tanjung Benoa (STB Project) were recent comments carried in Radar Bali by the Chairman of Committee D of the Regional House of Representatives for the City of Denpasar, I Ketut Ceteg Rurung. In his "no holds barred" comments to the press, Ceteg made clear his strong opposition to the Sanur-Tanjung toll road with its estimated cost of Rp. 1.4 trillion (US$151.5 million).

Ceteg told the press, "I have been opposed to the STB Project from the very beginning because of its widespread (negative) impact."

A native of Serangan Island, which would host one end of the proposed bridge between Sanur and Tanjung Benoa, Ceteg told the press of a long-standing property dispute between the Bali Turtle Island Development Corporation (BTID) and local residents of the island. Complained Beteg: "Who really owns the land at Serangan Island? If BTID is brave enough to claim the land as its own, I will be among the first to file opposing charges."

Ceteg told Radar Bali that the current ownership of Serangan Island remains unclear. He went on to explain: "This is logic: if BTID says the land is theirs, this means they must (by law) allocate 20% of the total land area to Denpasar's municipal government to be used for public facilities (fasum) and social facilities (fasos)." To date, BTID has reportedly yet to allocate any share of the land to the local government.

The local legislator warns that because of the unclear title to the island's lands, any development will be thwart with problems in the future.

And, if these complications were not enough, Ceteg, pointed to a building prohibitions surrounding Serangan's major holy site of Pura Sakenan plus the densely populated nature of Tanjung Benoa, destined to serve as the other end of the proposed bridge, which he believes cannot accommodate a major toll road.

"Insisting that Tanjung Benoa's sole access road of Jalan Pratama cannot be widened, Ceteg went on to say: "If the STB toll road happens, it would require a widespread evacuation of Tanjung Benoa. And, remember, there are many sacred sites on Tanjung Benoa and many temples – not to mention mosques and Chinese temples."

Another local legislator and also a member of Committee D, Ida Bagus Gede Sarjana, questioned how ships will continue to access Benoa harbor if the new road and bridge are built. "We've never been invited to discuss this project," complained Sarjana.

Is the new toll road already under construction? Radar Bali reports that PT Tunas Jaya Sanur has been granted access to the beach at Serangan, supposedly to begin preparatory work for the toll road. Ceteg returned to the lack of clarity on land title on the island, asking: "The access road now in use - who does it belong to? I am a native of Serangan and know exactly the history of the island. The access road now in use was a cooperative project between BTID and the people of Serangan. It is not owned by the government."

Saying he was uncertain of the future fate of the STB, Ceteg reiterated his complaint that the people of Serangan Island have not been consulted on the project. Offering a possible solution, he said: "If you want to build a toll road, it would be better to build one from Benoa to Mumbul. The distance is less and it won't disturb the Benoa Port operation.”

Related Articles

[Bali Toll Roads Hit a Roadblock?]

[Malaysian Business Group Offers to Build Nusa Dua Bridge]

[Serangan to Nusa Dua Toll Road to Go Ahead?]

[A Bridge Too Far?]


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