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Local Leaders Question US$100 Million Resort Project.

Local Hearings and Project Briefings Demanded by PDI-P Faction in the Tabanan Regional House of Representatives.

(4/25/2008) As reported on Balidiscovery.com, plans have been announced for a US$100 million 18-hectare spiritual healing center in West Bali, near Tabanan [See: US$100 Million Spiritual Resort for West Bali]

Leaders of the regional house of representatives (DPRD) in Tabanan have reacted with some surprise to the mega-project, claiming little knowledge of a product which will consume large tracts of productive agricultural land. As a result, local legislators have called on the investor in the Resort - PT Bali Permata Indah, to make a full and open disclosure presentation on the project.

As reported in the Bali Post, the Chief of the Democratic Party for the People's Struggle (PDI-P) faction from Tabanan, IGM Suryantha Putra, said his party has no prior information on the investment process which will eventually lay claim to so much arable land and border on critical organic farms in the area. Suryantha also said he was shocked to read of the inauguration of the project by Tabanan's Regent, meaning permits and licenses had been issued without socializing the project to community leaders.

The local political leader urged PT Bali Permata Indah to give a complete expose on the project. Adding: "We wish to obtain an explanation of this project. So far, the Investor has not informed the local House of Representatives and, accordingly, does not have our approval. If there is a member of the leadership that has granted his approval, such approval without the agreement of the legislature is inappropriate."

He went on to explain that while Tabanan is not closed to tourism investments, new projects cannot disturb the local environment or infringe on sacred areas.

Underlining his stance further, he said a project that will claim so much agricultural land and impose substantial demands on the local water table will have a definite impact on the local environment. Adding: "Because of this, the appropriate government bodies must understand the details of this project. We do not wish to have new investments which destroy the environment and become a burden for future generations."