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Benoa to Nusa Dua Toll Road: Not According to Plan?

Environmental Group Says Benoa to Bali Toll Way Construction Not Keeping Promise to Protect Mangrove Forests

(7/6/2012) The State News Agency Antara and Seputarbali.com reports that the Friend of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI) are leveling criticism towards the Benoa to Nusa Dua elevated highway as being built in opposition to good environmental practice and not in accordance with the project's environmental impact study.

The deputy-director of Walhi-Bali, Suriadi, said: “The construction of the Benoa-Nusa Dua toll way should be using suspension pillars and not excavating the mangrove’s waterway. But a visit to the construction site shows just the opposite is happening.”

Suriadi contends that when the toll way project was presented to the public, assurances were made that the project would minimize its impact on the environmentally sensitive and protected mangrove forest. The promises, he complains, are being swept aside and excavated causeways are being built alongside the suspended highway. He views that these causeways are destroying the local ecosystem.

The environmental activist continued: “The commitment to protect the sustainability of the shore area ecosystem in Bali must be consistently carried out. In the project’s documentation it is stated the toll way would use suspended pillars in order to avoid excavation (of the mangrove), but at this point in time land is being excavated in order to accelerate the road’s construction.”

Suriadi concludes that the process of developing the project was done too hurriedly without proper technical planning resulting in environmental damage to the coastal lands of Bali.