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Stuck at the Toll Booth

Environmentalists Call on Governor to Stop Bali Toll Way Project

(8/17/2012) Tens of protesting activists marched on the office of Bali’s governor on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, representing the Bali branch of Friends of the Earth (WLH) to urge the government of Bali to stop work on the toll way project connecting Benoa – Ngurah Rai Airport – Nusa Dua that they see as destroying the local environment.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the coordinator of the protest held in front of the governor’s office, Abdul Haris, said: “The are violations and systematic destruction of the environment being committed by PT Jasa Marga. Therefore we are demanding that the governor of Bali urgently halt the construction of the toll way over the waterway while a new analysis on the environmental impact of the project is completed.”

Walhi says that PT Jasa Marga has violated its initial environmental protection plan and destroyed the ocean’s ecology by excavating thousands of tons of limestone. To emphasize their protests, the activists brought large pictures of the ongoing construction as proof of the project’s destruction of the ecology. Protestors told the Bali Post the excavated road way already covers a distance of 3 kilometers, measures 30 meters wide, and rise more than 3 meters above the water’s surface

Hairs told the press that the initial project design submitted by PT Jasa Marga assured no excavation of the protected mangrove would take place, when, in fact, large scale excavations sre underway causing damage to the mangrove forests.

The activists are calling on the governor to halt the PT Jasa Marga toll way project in order to protect Bali’s natural environment.

Meanwhile, the toll project managers are promising to complete the toll way project by April 26, 2013, in order to have the new road way in operation before a major APEC conference to be held in late 2013 in Bali.