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Houses or Worship in Bali?

Tanjung Benoa Village Leaders Protest the Building of a New Apartment Complex Claiming Construction is Too Close to a Local Temple.

(12/1/2007) The Bali Post reports that citizens living on Tanjung Benoa in South Bali are protesting the building of The Segara apartment complex which, according to some locals, stands too close the Pura Segara temple. Six community leaders from Tanjung Benoa recently paid a visit on the Vice-Chairman of the Regional Parliament in Bali, I Ketut Tama Tenaya, the Chairman of 'Commission B' I Wayan Suyasa and parliamentarian I Nyoman Penayasa.

Following that meeting, Tama Tenaya told the press that the six local residents registered their objections to the building of the apartment just to the south of the temple, claiming that the sanctity and purity of the religious site would be diminished if the project is allowed to proceed. The 3-storey apartment building, when completed, will form the backdrop for local villagers when praying at Pura Segara. The apartment is also located just to the west of a Pura Paibon, or ancestral temple for the local community.

Despite strong protests from the some members of the local community the project has continued to be built.

The Chief Parliamentarian promised that all interested parties would soon be summoned to discuss the project, probably shortly after legislative budgetary meetings scheduled for December 2007.

Meanwhile, the Spokesman for the Badung Regional Government, Putu Eka Merthawan, has responded to the protests insisting that no laws have been broken by Badung administrators or the developers of The Segara. The permits issued by the regional government, according to Merthawan, are is strict accordance with established procedures. Moreover, the original request for the project submitted on June 30, 2007 in the name of Ni Wayan Satriani included the required "no objection" statements signed by people living adjacent to the proposed apartment complex. Similar letters signed by community environment officials, the Lurah or Chief of Tanjung Benoa and the Camat or Sub-district Chief for South Kuta also reportedly formed a part of the initial building permit submission. Merthawan told the press that the project also held a written recommendation from Desa Pekrama Tanjung Benoa signed by the village Bendesa, I Nyoman Wana Putra.

Merthawan also underlined that zoning permits for the project conformed to local designated use permits as tourism accommodation meeting requirement that the final building must have a building/land ration of 60/40, that parking area must comprise 20% of the total land use and the maximum height of the final building heights must not exceed 15 meters.