The suspension of ferry service by the government-owned RoRo ship, Nusa Jaya Abadi, sailing between the Bali ports of Kusamba and Nusa Penida island is fostering a dangerous situation for local boats operating over the same route.
Nusa Jaya Abadi has been sent to Surabaya for a scheduled docking while a promised replacement vessel, redeployed from Ternate to Bali, has yet to arrive in Bali.
In the absence of the regular scheduled vehicle and passenger service, the smaller traditional boats sailing the route are operating in a dangerously overloaded condition. Small sampans that were built to carry only 80 passengers are now leaving with 120 passengers and a large amounts of personal cargo.
The man in charge of the Banjar Bias port (Syahbandar), IGK Sudia Rana, said: "This situation is dangerous. What's more, many of the passengers hold no tickets and are not listed in the official manifest. In this situation there is little we can do to stop passengers from crowding the ships' decks."
Rana explained that his ability to enforce compliance with passenger safety certificates that limit the amount of cargo and passengers that ships can carry is tied to the limited personnel assigned to his office. Syahbandars normally are assigned only two staff members in remote ports, such as his in the Klungkung regency.
The chief of the Transportation, Communication and Information Directorate (Dishubkominfo) in Klungkung, Nengah Sukasta, told Bali Post that the RoRo vessel has gone into dock for 30 days starting from Wednesday, November 3, 2010. He also confirmed that a replacement vessel has departed from Ternate, a journey that will take about 10 days. He said the deployment of a replacement vessel is happening at the urging of Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika.
The current schedule calls for the replacement shop to arrive in Bali on November 13, 2010, leaving a dangerous ten-day gap in which passengers traveling between Bali and Nusa Penida must seek space on badly overcrowded local vessels.
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