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Minister Ardika Dislikes Cable Car Proposal

Minister's Lieutenant Voices Ardika's Opinion on North Bali Aerial Cable Car Project.

(11/18/2001) Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. I Gde Ardika, negative opinion on the long-debated project proposal to build a scenic aerial cable car system connecting Bali's north coast to the island's central hill district has been voiced by one of his senior staff during a visit to Bali. The project, although backed by local government officials in the Buleleng area of north Bali, has been widely criticized in some circles as inappropriate development with the potential to destroy the island's natural character.

Mr. R. Sarwono, the Director General of Tourism Product Development for the Department of Culture and Tourism during a visit to Bali last week conveyed his boss' disagreement with the proposed cable car system. The Minister's statements places him at direct odds with the open support of the project by the Bupati (Regent) of Buleleng, Drs. Ketut Wirata Sindhu.

Meanwhile, an instructor in Eco-Tourism and the Environment from Bali's Udayana University, Professor Anak Agung Gde Raka Dalem, has joined those opposed to the proposed Cable Car system, suggesting the development of hiking, trekking and other low-impact forms of eco-tourism is more preferrable in the relatively natural environment of north Bali. (Bali Post 16 November)