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Mega Knows Best

Former President Megawati Soekarno Putri Criticized by Zoning Activists for Ignoring Bali Building Laws

(1/13/2014) Many investors in the tourism sector in Bali violate with impunity the provisions of the Provincial Zoning Regulations (RTRW). That is the claim made by the chairman of the Bali Movement for Social Solidarity (GASOS), Lanang Sudira.

“We observe that many investors are building facilities, especially those on beach fronts and rivers, in violation of minimum setback rules,” said Sudira on Sunday, January 12, 2014.

The Gianyar native and social activist cited, as an example, the villa built by former Indonesian President Megawati Soekarno Putri in the village of Kramas on Cucukan Beach in Gianyar. Sudira claims it is obvious to even the most casual observer that the villa complex violate the law on setbacks from the high-water mark. “Don’t make the excuse that this is because of beach erosion. Before erosion took place the villa was already in violation of the RTRW. Just  look at the villa on Cucukan Beach at Kramas Village owned by the former President of the Republic of Indonesia,” Sudira explained.

Sudira said he hope that government officialswould be brave and take action against investors who build tourism facilities that violate the law, insisting that whoever breaks the law must suffer the consequences. “Law enforcement must be firm in enforcing these rules. Don’t be frightened because an official owns the illegal facility. In a country of law, anyone who breaks the law must face enforcement," emphasized Sudira.

"If an official has broken the law they must be brought into line as an example for other investors. However, the current situation is just the opposite,” bemoaned the Gasos spokesman.

Lanang Sudira said the RTRW No. 16 of 2009 clarifies minimum setbacks for hotel facilities from seashores and riverbanks. “Unfortunately, the reality is that the provincial, regency and municipal governments are not able to maximize the enforcement of the zoning rules. The proof (of this fact) is that many hotels and villas violate setbacks from rivers and sea fronts,” he complained.

He said many hotels and villas in violation of the law are found in the regency of Gianyar, with examples found all along the Ayung River in the Kedewatan region of Ubud. Adding: “There, if seen from the rule on setbacks from rivers its clear that violations have been committed. There are structures that even touch the riverbank. But the relevant agencies of the government are unable to firmly enforce the rules. They just close their eyes.”

Lanang Sudira said that many member of the public assume officials have been bribed by investors to avoid enforcement of the rules. He said that the relevant agencies should not hesitate to recheck all buildings for compliance with the law, even after they are built and even if they are already holding permits.

“If they are found to be breaking the law then these buildings must be demolished or their operating permits suspended. But the reality is that they are allowed to operate, even though it is clear to all concerned that they violate setback rules from the riverbank,” said Sudira.