For about 15 minutes on Sunday afternoon, the Bali Mandara Toll Road was totally unaccessible as hordes of people set up a demo and marched on the road, rejecting the controversial project that would reclaim 700 hectares of south Bali’s Benoa Bay.
During the demo, people demanded that President Joko Widodo revoke Presidential Regulation No. 51/2014 that pulled the area from protective zoning. The reclamation project, headed up by developer TWBI would see the building of Dubai-esque islands with an array of tourist facilities.
But since Jokowi has taken office, it’s not been clear if the reclamation will be allowed to through or not since he’s been quiet on the matter.
The action on Sunday calling for the halting of the reclamation was set up by residents four community traditional village groups (desa adat) in the Benoa Bay area and of course supported by ForBali, the main organization calling for a stop to the project.
And all the action wasn’t just in Benoa. Protests were also carried out across 14 desa adat across Denpasar and Badung, as well as in Klungkung and Gianyar.
It’s exciting to see this resurgence in interest in blocking the reclamation project. We hope it makes a difference in swaying Jokwoi to spare Bali from the proposed monster project!