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Several Hotels Criticized for Polluting Bali's Ayung River

Rafting Operators Claim Some Hotels are Deliberately Pumping their Sewage into the Ayung River.

(5/24/2010) According to a report in NusaBali, rafting operators on Bali's Ayung river are complaining that a number of hotels along the waterway are threatening both the environment and the image of Bali as a world tourism destination.

Ida Bagus Putra, a rafting operator, told the press that he and other rafting operators have repeatedly been disappointed by the continuing pollution by hotels that populate the river's banks. Putra, who is the operational manager of Puri Rafting Bongkasa, claims that the pollution of the river is carried out in a sub rosa fashion, with certain hotels dumping sewage into the river during rainy periods when the river flows strongest and quickly flushes the evidence of such misdeeds downstream. Putra also alleges that a number of hotels have installed dedicated piping systems to disgorge sewage into the river.

"The rafting operators have often complained about this problem. But there are still hotels who are undeterred in polluting the river," explained Putra.

Putra said that in order to protect the sustainability of the Ayung river as a tourism project, all the hotels along the Ayung river must immediately end polluting practices and protect their surrounding natural environment.

In the midst of the pollution problem, business is said to be on the increase for rafting operator who businesses dominated by customers from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

In efforts to improve service and enhance safety on the river rafting operators have established five "Rescue Posts" near parts of the river with the strongest rapids and most prone to mishaps. These posts are manned by trained staff who monitor the passing rafts, prepared to lend assistance if boats and their occupants get into distress.

Rafting operators are also now required to send one empty rescue boat for every group of five rafts sailing down the river. The "extra boat" is manned by guides trained to lend assistance whenever such assistance is required.