(9/8/2013) The State News Agency Antara reports that PT Jasa Marga Bali Tolls have publicly reaffirmed its commitment to replant thousands of trees along the 12.7-kilometer length of the new Benoa-Nusa Dua toll road.
“The conservation activity of replanting the mangrove forest has so far seen 10,000 trees planted,” said the finance director of Jasa Marga Bali, Reynaldi Hermansyah, on Friday, September 6, 2013. He went on to say that the conservation activity is a real result of the toll operator’s commitment to make Bali’s ecosystem sustainable.
“We are aware that every infrastructure project will always have consequences, including environmental consequences. Nonetheless, we continue to work to minimize those consequences,” said Hermansyah.
He said environmental protection has been a part of the toll road project that cost Rp. 2.4 trillion and took only 12 months to complete.
He cited the example of how the project required the laying of "temporary" roads for construction access across the mangrove. These roads, Hermansyah explained, used limestone in order not to disrupt the local ecology of the mangrove.
“Not only that, but we have also used LED lighting that is 60% more energy efficient, Hermansyah added.
He also explained how, as part of the replanting effort, the Jasa Marga operation includes a nursery operated by Bali’s Udayana University to study and propagate flora for the mangrove area surrounding the road.
In 2012 around 161,000 trees were planted near the toll road.
The original plans for constructing the roadway, submitted as part of the project’s environmental impact study, called for floating pontoons to be used to prevent minimum disruption to the mangrove’s bottomlands. This approach was, however, quickly abandoned when the waters around the construction area proved to shallow for pontoon-based construction.
Forced to build an extensive network of construction roads along the entire path of the new road, Jasa Marga Bali pledged that the roads would be dug up and removed once the constructionproject was completed, allowing again the free flow of tidal waters.
Environmental groups in Bali are now monitory the project to ensure Jasa Marga Bali keeps its promise to the people of Bali.