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Seeking a Pier without Peer

Klungkung, Bali Residents Want a More Visionary Approach to Construction of Cruise Facility.

(12/11/2010) The on-again-off-again half-completed plans for a dock at in the East Bali region of Klungkung was he subject of an open forum entitled "A Visionary Concept for a Klungkung Pier" held recently at the Gunarsa Museum in Klungkung.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, the Gunaksa Pier was initially envisioned to be a simple dock for the small ships plying between Klungkung and Nusa Penida island. Over time, the idea evolved of transforming the project into a large, multi-functional facility suitable for handling large cruise ships.

Attending the forum was Klungkung community leader and renowned painter Nyoman Gunarsa, who hosted the gathering, together with Ngakan Made Samudera a Bali legislator.

Commented Samudera: "We are not opposed to the building of the pier. We are only putting forward an idea." He continued, saying the project needs to be revisited in order that a more visionary concept can be developed. Money now dedicated to the project should be diverted to building a larger pier that is part of a larger marina complex.

The provincial law maker said a larger marina-cruise center would make meaningful contribution to the local tourism sector and open the rich cultural attractions of Klungkung to a wider audience. "As regards the pier, let's not delay. It will be better if we just build a large facility," he added, while saying he was prepared to find outside investors for the project, if necessary.

Nyoman Gunarsa sounded a similar message, saying the present project was a waste of money and misses the opportunity improve the economic standing of the people of the Klungkung regency.

Gunarsa's dream is that the Gunaksa Pier be made capable of handling large cruise ships on a mixed basis with water tourism activities that incorporate the Unda River touching the center of Klungkung. Said Gunarsa: "For me, the money being spent now should be used to create a bay. This should be deep enough to allow large ships to dock here."

In response, the regent of Klungkung, Wayan Candra, insisted the present dock facility meets the aspirations of his constituents, especially the people of Nusa Penida, and for this reason alone the current work should continue.

Candra also stated he had little concern for the waning enthusiasm of Bali's governor or even the central government to fund the Klungkung project. Because of this, his office is prepared to seek financing from a third party or find the money from existing allocations within the regency's budget.

Separately, the chairman of the Klungkung House of Representatives, AA Gede Anom, said he has no problem with the public seeking to question the Gunaksa Pier project. Said Anom: "The problem is what will be the decision of the central government? The financing of the Gunaksa Pier is a shared burden between the national government and the regency of Klungkung. Who doesn't want a grand pier with a multi-functional design? But, it all comes back to making our desires fit with our financial capabilities."