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Tabanan Legislators Criticized for Poor Control

Bali Post Asks Why Two Major Tabanan Developments are Being Built without the Advice and Consent of Local Lawmakers.

(5/24/2008) Bali Post has reported that Tabanan regional houses of representative members in Bali may have been "duped" with the commencement of two major projects in Bali, seemingly without their consultation and consent. The two examples cited by Bali's leading daily newspaper are the 18-hectare Vita Life Resort located in Penebel and an Indonesian Expo Stand near Bali's famous Pura Tana Lot. Both projects are located within the Regency of Tabanan.

The Vita Life Spiritual Healing World Center, being developed by PT Bali Permata Indah, was only brought before the Tabanan legislature after the Regent of Tabanan, N. Adi Wiryatama, had presided at the groundbreaking ceremony for the resort. Legislators and members of the Golkar Faction have complained in the local press of being bypassed in the approval process and frustrated in their efforts to undertake a site inspection.

Meanwhile, a group comprised of various legislative committees from the local House of Representatives undertook a surprise visit to Tanah Lot on Wednesday, May 21, where they discovered an Indonesia Expo complex being erected less than 100 meters from the temple site. The legislators also found that construction work was underway directly on the ocean's edge, a move that blatantly ignores ordinances on mandatory set back from the high water mark. According to the Tanah Lot Authority manager, I Made Sujana, the nearly-completed 100 exhibition stands will be rented out to interested companies.

The Chairman of the Tabanan House of Representatives (DPRD), I Wayan Sukaja, said on Thursday, May 22nd, that he had no knowledge of the Tanah Lot Exhibition project. He also expressed his shock when he saw the project under construction, adding he hopes all investments will follow the existing rules and regulations.

Referring to the Vita Life project, the Head of the Golkar Faction, said the matter was still under review. One member of the faction, I Nengah Manu Mudhita, said on Thursday that he had asked the Tabanan local environmental department to see the mandatory environmental impact study for the project. Mudhita revealed to the Bali Post that he was unable to obtain the study which was reportedly "still being processed."

Bali Post lamented the duping of legislators in the granting of permits to these two projects, asking if the DPRD-Tabanan had not failed in its assigned control role.

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