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Bali is Bursting at the Seams

Bali's Governor: Island's Infrastructure Under Intense Strain.

(5/31/2010) Bali is drowning in its own popularity. Traffic jams, virtually unheard of 10 years ago, are an increasingly common facet of daily life on the island.

As reported by The Jakarta Globe, Bali's governor used a recent visit by Vice-President Boediono to ask for more funding to repair and supplement Bali's sagging road transportation system.

Pastika said: "The infrastructure we currently have in place is insufficient. Our concern is that one day Bali will cease to be a desirable destination, mainly because of the traffic jams, so resolving this problem must be a priority."

On the governor's shopping list of much-needed infrastructure programs:

A tourist port facility at Tanah Ampo in the East Bali regency of Karangasem.

A bridge link connecting Sanur to Tanjung Benoa over Serangan Island.

An overpass highway at the Dewi Ruci monument at Simpang Siur.

Bali's surging local population, dynamic growth in foreign tourist visitors and upsurge in domestic travelers who now represent nearly 58% of all arrivals are all putting the islands infrastructure systems under pressure. The seasonality of the tourism business and intermittent surges in traffic when major conferences come to Bali, are beginning to have a negative impact of the overall tourism experience in Bali.

Pastika continued: "We don't have natural resources such as oil, coal, gas or gold," Pastika said. "All we have are our human resources, culture and natural environment, which we need to preserve. Worsening traffic jams here will reflect poorly on Indonesia, so the central government needs to step in."

After hearing the governors plea for infrastructure assistance, Vice-President Boediono promised to take up the project list with the relevant ministers within the President's cabinet.

Indonesia's Public Works Minister, Djoko Kirmanto, said funding was scheduled by Jakarta for the Tanah Ampo port facility, spread over payments between now and 2011.

Kirmanto also promised that the Serangan bridge project and Simpang Siur overpass would be seriously examined by his office.