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Bali Carrefour Project Draws Protests

Traffic and Overwhelming Competition for Local Traders Among Concerns Expressed by Kuta Community Leader.

(9/29/2006) According to a story published in the Indonesian language Bali Post, the ongoing construction of a large Carrefour outlet on Kuta's Sunset Road is drawing protests from a local retailers' association (Asprindo) and local residents.

Concerned that the opening of the hypermarket will economically sideline local traders and create a traffic congestion problem, concerned local resident are labeling the project's originators as "unconcerned" with the welfare of the people of Kuta.

A local community leader and regional parliamentarian, Puspa Negara, told the Bali Post, "It's as though the people of Denpasar have received no socialization at all in connection with the proposed business with many people asking questions in connection with the project."

A law passed in 1999 requires that all investment projects undertake impact studies that include a requirement to "socialize" new projects to surrounding communities before being granted a license to proceed.

The outspoken local legislator reminded Carrefour's developers of their obligation to undertake impact studies including any potential impact on local traffic conditions. "We (local Balinese) suffer the consequences of such projects, while the profit is alienated to other regions of the country," complained Puspa Negara.

Admitting that he does not know whether of not the Carrefour project enjoys public support, Puspa Negara said that the people's feelings will only be known when they receive a thorough explanation of what the project entails.