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Monumental Surprise

Denpasar Building Monumental Statue at Intersection of Bypass and Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra Near Tohopati

(1/25/2014) Bali Post reporting that Denpasar’s Hygiene and Parks Department (DKP) is preparing to construct a huge statue depicting a scene of the Hindu epic Ramayana has solved the mystery in connection with a large stone podium now under construction at the three-way intersection of Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra and Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai.

The Titi Banda Lanjut Statue will completely dominates the three-sided garden located at the intersection and relate a scene in which Rama, surrounded by a troupe of monkeys,  is building a bridge to Alengka.

The podium for the statue now nearing completion, was built at a cost of Rp. 1.8 billion (US$144,000) and paid for from the 2013 municipal budget.

The next phase of building the 15-meter high monument will cost another Rp. 5.4 billion (US$432,000) to be paid from the 2014 budget and is expected to be completed by October of this year.

Meanwhile, NusaBali reports that the project is drawing critical fire from the Denpasar Municipal legislature (DPRD-Denpasar) who is complaining they have been bypassed in the rush to build the monument. Commission B of the DPRD-Denpasar is calling on Denpasar administrators to work more closely with local lawmakers to ensure proper supervision and transparency in the execution of major projects.

Mayun Komala Putra, a member of Commission B said: "We regret that lack of coordination. We were told nothing and then suddenly (we hear of) this new projecy."

He also protested the high cost of the statue, put at Rp. 5.4 billion, adding: "This is a large budget. In the future we pray for better coordination."

Putra took the occasion to point to other projects including drainage work that were not coordinated with the DPRD-Denpasar making supervision of such projects problematic.

Joining the chorus was another Commission B member, I Wayan Kariarta, who decried the lack of transparency and the failure to hold public hearings regarding the new statue.

Municipal authorities said document to tender the project are now in hand, a process to be handled the procurement division of the Denpasar government.