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Swamped by the Need to Handle Traffic Congestion

New Nusa Dua Toll Way in Bali to Sacrifice 2 Hectares of Protected Mangrove Forests.

(2/14/2011) The proposed elevated toll way connecting Nusa Dua and Benoa will require the sacrifice of two hectares of protected mangrove forests needed to construct access ramps at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Tuban and Nusa Dua.

The need to convert the mangrove areas, seen by environmentalist as essential to the maritime food-chain and erosion prevention, was revealed in a presentation made by the consortium of 5 state-owned companies backing the project. Developers claim that 95% of the structural work for the new toll way will be over water, nut the three critical access points will necessitate the destruction of mangrove forests. While the loss of the natural habitat is regretted, Abdul Hadi, a director of PT Jasa Marga and the spokesman for the consortium, is seeking local government and tourism industry support for plans to build the new highway.

In addition to securing local government easements from the provincial zoning law, the project developers must also deal with issues of land acquisition, the conversion of a high voltage power line to an underground cable and alterations to the Ngurah Rai memorial statue near the entrance to the airport. There is also the potentially problematic issue of a religious temple standing in an area needed for an access ramp that must be resolved before the project can move ahead.

According to Bali Post, one alternative under review is the construction of a roundabout access ramp that will allow the Ngurah Rai monument to remain intact.

The toll way project is also seeking an exception from the 2009 Bali zoning law (RTRW) in order to proceed. The timing of these exceptions from the zoning law come at problematic time when the governor is embroiled in a pitched battle with several regencies in Bali who are seeking to have the RTRW set aside in favor of complete autonomy for each regency in establishing their own zoning standards and regulations.