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Reclaiming Bali's Beaches

Puri Bali and Keraton Hotel on Jimbaran Beach Cited by Local Community for Misuse of Beachfront.

(7/11/2009) The Sub-district head of Jimbaran, I Made Tarip Widartha, has issued firm warnings to Jimbaran Beach hotels constructing too close to the high-water mark.

According to DenPost, Widartha issued pointed warnings to two properties: the Hotel Puri Bali and the Keraton Bali.

Quoted in DenPost, Tarip reminded hotels along Jimbaran Beach that the right-of-way along the ocean side is absolutely reserved for the public and cannot be appropriated by anyone. After inspecting the shoreline with the Camat of South Kuta, I Wayan Wijana, Tarip said, "we will gather together all the hotels to make this clear to them."

Tarip said that local residents and hotels not located directly on the beachfront have been complaining that they are being barred access to the beach by the Hotel Puri Bali. This is also apparently the case on the beach in front of the Hotel Keraton where structures constructed by the Hotel have precipitated objections from the surrounding community.

As the result of those complaints, Tarip has warned hotels to honor the setback rules from the high-water mark or face the possibility of strong enforcement measures in the future.

The Camat of South Kuta, I Wayan Wijana, underlined that no one is allowed to place structures within the setback zone along the beachfront. DenPost says that current law prevents the construction of structures within 50 meters of the high-water mark. "No one can build in the setback zone or claim ownership of the beachfront," said Wijana.

According to the officials, a meeting will soon be convened of all stakeholders in the Jimbaran beach area to explain the current rules. That meeting will also involve a number of relevant government agencies, such as the provincial planning agency (Bapeda), the zoning commission (Cipta Karya), the Bali Tourism Authority (Diparda) and Regional Environmental Impact Control Agency (Bapedalda).

The Human Resources Department of the Puri Bali denied that they have barred access to or ejected local people trying to use the beach in front of their hotel. Insisting that they would never bar the public from their right to use the beach, the hotel claims they have tried to hold a dialogue with village officials but that meeting has been delayed until August due to ceremonial commitments. The hotel also said it would welcome any initiative involving all parties in the care and management of the beachfront.

According to DenPost, their visit to the beach did reveal a bamboo barrier on the beach near the Puri Bali Hotel. In front of the Keraton Hotel the newspaper found several small building constructed of bamboo.