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An Overly Active Volcano

Bali Lawmakers Complain That Kintamani Development out of Control.

(6/24/2002) The local People Consultative Assembly (DPRD) for the Regency of Bangli in Bali have summoned hotel and restaurant operators in the village of Penelokan at Kintamani in an effort to control commercial developments which are ruining the appeal of the area and its commanding views of Lake Batur and its still active volcano.

According to the Vice-Chairman of the DPRD for Bangli, Mr. Ngakan Kuta Parwata, business operators in Penelokan, a city situated on the rim of the ancient volcanic crater, will be asked to explain the uncontrolled building of structures now blocking views of the volcano that are in violation of local building regulations.

The local parliamentarian bemoaned the lack of a shared vision among the people of Penelokan regarding the future of tourism in their area.

Quoted in the June 19 edition of the Indonesian language Bali Post, Kutha Parwata said that "before the uncontrolled development become more damaging, the government and all components of the tourism industry have to cooperate to save the valuable natural assets of Bangli." He added, "business people must realize that their incomes are derived from the beauty of Kintamani's panorama. If that beauty become entirely closed off by tall buildings, who will want to continue to visit Penelokan?"

The local policymaker from the majority PDI-P political party admitted that the lack of enforcement in current zoning regulations and the high possibility of conflict should the Government undertake repressive means to control illegal buildings now blocking Lake Batur's view, make finding a solution to the current problem extremely difficult.