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Denpasar Zoning and Building Authorities Accused of Being Slack on the Job

(4/1/2012) Following the ongoing controversy surrounding Harrad’s Hotel and the Blue Eyes Karaoke Complex, another scandal concerning the granting of building and operating permits in Denpasar is emerging surrounding the Taxi Hotel located on Jalan Pulau Flores.

As reported by Radar Bali, Denpasar’s Zoning and Housing Department (Dinas Tata Ruang dan Perumahan – DTRP) has issued a warning letter to the Taxi Hotel. The chief of the DTRP, Kadek Kusuma Diputra, confirmed a warning letter was sent to the “melati-class” hotel said to be owned by Malaysian investors.

Diputra said on Saturday, March 31, 2012: “Last Monday we formally delivered a second warning letter to them. On Thursday they sent a representative to our office to present project drawings,”

Diputra promised to urgently visit the construction site in order to determine what, if any, rules have been violated. Adding: “The problem, sometimes the pictures do not match the actual building.”

A deputy of the Bali Environmental Agency (WALHI), Suryadi Harmoko, is citing the hotel project as physical proof that the municipal government of Denpasar is inconsistent in the enforcement of zoning and building laws.

Harmoko said: “The basic principle is that before anyone builds, they must first have a building permit (IMB). This is a clear example where there was no IMB, but the project was allowed to continue. This gives a very poor example to the public on how to obtain permits.”

The man working to protect Bali’s natural environment depicts such behavior by the Denpasar government as an example of the government undermining its own power and public standing. Adding, “I have to ask: Is the mayor of Denpasar serious in his desire to enforce administrative law or is the fact just the reverse?”

Harmoko, who is also an academic hailing from East Java, also apportioned criticism to the Denpasar legislature. He called on the Denpasar House of Representative to look beyond the importance of this single case and enquire on the workings and administration of the zoning and building code officers.