The Bali Post reports that residents at Tanah Ampo on the eastern coast of Bali at Karangasem are refusing to surrender their farming lands to permit the construction of parking facilities for the Tanah Ampo International Cruise Terminal.
Local farmers are concerned that they will be separated from ancestral farming lands in order to accommodate a parking lot for a cruise terminal that, in the end, will not be favored by the cruise industry.
The farmer’s refusal to surrender their lands was confirmed by Tanah Ampo village chief, I Gede Suyadnya, on Saturday, December 15, 2012, who confirmed his efforts over separate three meetings to persuade local farmers to sell their lands to the port project have been unsuccessful.
Suyadnya explained that the refusal was in part prompted by the inability of Karangasem authorities to actually put the cruise terminal into operation. Past efforts to lure international cruise ships to the port have had very mixed results due to poor planning and the malfunction of the pontoon erected to receive ships’ tenders at a port that offers no protection to the open seas.
Moreover, local citizens point out that in recent months no ships have come to the port, preferring instead to berth at the southern port of Benoa that is able to bring large ships alongside a pier in a protected harbor.
The lack of business for the port has also made the Karangasem regency’s offer of a 70% - 30% split in parking fees between the village and the regional government less than compelling.
The lack of promising returns from the proposed parking facility and the desire to preserve their agricultural lands have united the villagers in rejecting the plan put forth by the regency for the proposed parking lot.
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