It appears that public debate on the merits of moving the Dewa Ruci monument at the Simpang Siur intersection in Kuta may be coming to an end, at least for now. And despite the desire of Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika, to relocate the statue to a new, nearby locale to accommodate the new flyover and ease traffic congestion, it appears that the statue will remain in situ for the immediate future.
According to Radar Bali, after numerous objections to relocating the monument, the provincial government of Bali have adopted a "wait and see" stance, deciding to only undertake a move if the statue looks unsightly once the new overpass is place and the public agrees with a move at that time.
Bali's public works director, Dewa Punia Asa, speaking on August 8, 2010, said: "We decided in the last meeting, the Dewa Ruci statue will not be moved. There were certainly a lot of pros and cons and, in the end, there was no budget to pay for relocation."
He explained that the construction of the overpass will continue in accordance with the master plan. If the need to reduce the amount of land to be acquired to complete the new road requires the road be built in close proximity to the statue, this will be done over the objections of many.
Dewa Punia Asa related how he felt the public would only call for the relocation of the statue if it becomes an eyesore in relation to the new road. That scenario, however, appears a virtual certainty as the new road will pass by the statue at near quarters at shoulder level to the monument.
"If the people finally demand (the statue) be moved, it will be moved. Let's see what the result is first. If we leave it in its current position and it looks bad, then certainly we will move it to a plot of government land to the north," said Dewa.
Looking ahead, the man who oversees all public works programs in Bali, warned that there will be complaints from the public resulting from the traffic jams during the construction phase. "In conjunction with the building of the flyover, I am convinced that there will be many protests," he said.
The government is looking at ways to reduce traffic jams during the construction of the flyover. Among the alternatives being considered is a temporary rerouting of traffic to Jalan Iman Bonjol. There is also an idea put forth by governor Pastika to set up a ferry services connecting Serangan island and Tanjung Benoa.
The new flyover is being financed with national funds in the amount of Rp. 300 billion (US$32.6 million) with the provincial government covering the cost land acquisition. Plans to move ahead with the new flyover became imperative due to the chronic traffic jams and Bali's plans to host a major international economic conference in 2013.
[Bali's Dewa Ruci Monument Looking for a New Home]
[Monumental Change Ahead for Bali?]
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