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A Troubled Bridge over Balinese Waters

Governor Refuses to Continue 'Installment' Funding for Serangan Tanjung Benoa Toll-Bridge.

(11/29/2008) Radar Bali reports that local supporters of a bridge project connecting Serangan Island and Tanjung Benoa (STB) will be disappointed with the news that the proposed toll-bridge has indefinitely been put on hold. As a result, connecting feeder roads constructed at a cost of Rp. 25 billion (US$2 million) will connect to nothing for the foreseeable future.

Condemning the project to indefinite suspension is the decision by Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika to leave the toll-bridge project out of his annual budget, arguing the millions of dollars needed to complete the bridge are not available. Governor Pastika explained: "Bali is not capable of funding such a large project. This leaves (the project's fate) to the national government or to investors. Meanwhile, potential Malaysian investors have withdrawn from the project due to an incompatibility of concepts."

A member of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Made Dauh Wijana, told the press that the lack of support for the STB by Bali's new governor largely condemns the project to an indefinite purgatory. Dauh was disappointed that the Governor did not accept legislators recommendations that an "installment" amount be set aside in each year's budget to allow the toll-bridge project to proceed. Governor Pastika insists that his priority in the current budget will be on water supply and health matters.