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Bali's Road to Perdition

Badly Behind Schedule, Bali Law Makers Say Ida Bagus Mantra Highway Project is in Shambles.

(12/27/2010) Legislators from the Bali provincial House of Representatives (DPRD) have branded the continuing construction work on the Ida Bagus Mantra Bypass highway project as disorganized with no clear date in hand for the project's completion. According to Beritabali.com, the House is calling on the contractor to act responsibly, underlining of the hundreds of billions of Rupiahs consumed by the road building project.

The legislator's demands were issued at a meeting between the DPRD, the head of Bali's Public Works Department, Dewa Putu Punia Asa, and the Metropolitan Road Development Chief for Region VIII, Riel J. Mantik. Also present at the meeting were representatives from the contractor and consultants who originally won the contract to build the divided highway connecting Denpasar with Kusamba.

The Vice-chairman of the DPRD-Bali, Ketut Suwandi, was stinging in his criticism, saying: "the Ida Bagus Mantra road project is a mess. The consultants have stopped working on the project since last September."

When grilled by Suwandi and others at the House meeting, representatives of the contractor and the consultants were apparently confused and unable to elaborate on a list of 24 items blamed for the project's continuing delay. Suwandi complained: "they can't even tell us what the problem is. The project worth hundreds of billions (Rupiah) is a mess."

The chairman of Commission III of the DPRD-Bali, Agus Suradnyana, said the excuses offered by the contractors were illogical and could not be accepted by the House. Adding: "The contractors were unprepared to deal with foreign supervisor and consultants. Because they couldn't communicate and interact (with foreigners) the project turned into a mess."

The road construction project with is part of the internationally funded 'Eastern Indonesia National Road Improvement Project' (ENRIP Bali 01) with a stated value of Rp 180.8 billion (US$ 20 million).

The large road construction project is being carried out by two large Jakarta companies Jaya Konstruksi and Duta Graha and stretches a distance of 10.79 kilometers.

Through December 14, 2010, the project has fallen far behind its targeted 96.68% completion goal, achieving instead only a 74.2% completion factor.

As a result, contractors are now facing large penalties for their failure to deliver the project according to schedule.

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