Pelindo called out for not socializing Bali Benoa dredging project, resembling reclamation

Dredging in Benoa. Photo via Berita Balipost/Facebook

Bali’s regional officials are calling out state-owned port operator PT Pelindo III for not properly socializing a dredging project that’s underway in Benoa.

The dredging project, supposedly a part of a much-awaited cruise terminal build, resembles land reclamation—a huge deal in South Bali since Benoa Bay has been the battleground for the past five years of a controversial proposed reclamation that would see the creation of Dubai-style artificial islands chock-full of fancy tourism facilities.

With the expiration of the permit for project developer TWBI on Aug. 25, the defeat of the reclamation was celebrated by social activist group ForBali. However, the celebration is taken with a grain of salt, as the land remains out of protective zoning, thanks to a presidential regulation issued in 2014 by Joko Widodo’s predecessor, then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“We are inviting Pelindo regarding permits and EIA (environmental impact assessment),” Bali regional council (DPRD) Commission I chairman, I Ketut Tama Tenaya said in Denpasar on Monday, as quoted by Bali Post.

According to Tama, DPRD really needs to talk to Pelindo about their problematic licensing situation. Apparently the company has been unable to present an EIA—a required document for their project.

Meanwhile, another member of the Bali DPRD, AA Ngurah Adhi Adrdhana likewise explained to Bali Post reporters that the project in Benoa is being developed for a cruise port.

However, he added his opinion, saying that the construction of cruise port does not mean Pelindo will need to build supporting tourism facilities like hotels or other accommodation in the Benoa Port area. 

“No need for hotels, because the (tourists) are just sleeping on the cruise ship. What would the hotels be for? There is no need to build an exhibition or meeting place there. I agree on the cruise port, but it should not be a tourist attraction,” the PDI-P politician said.

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