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Build Your Bridge on Someone Else’s Island
August 8th, 2008

As reported on balidiscovery.com, plans to build a series of toll
roads to alleviate traffic congestion in South Bali have been plague with
funding and investment difficulties making it unlikely that the proposed
roads connecting Sanur and Tanjung Benoa, Kuta and Nusa Dua, and the
creation of a series of flyovers in Kuta will come to fruition anytime in
the foreseeable future.

Pouring further rain on the parade of those wishing to see a toll road and
bridge connecting Sanur and Tanjung Benoa (STB Project) were recent comments
carried in Radar Bali by the Chairman of Committee D of the Regional House
of Representatives for the City of Denpasar, I Ketut Ceteg Rurung. In his
“no holds barred” comments to the press, Ceteg made clear his strong
opposition to the Sanur-Tanjung toll road with its estimated cost of Rp. 1.4
trillion (US$151.5 million).

Ceteg told the press, “I have been opposed to the STB Project from the very
beginning because of its widespread (negative) impact.”

A native of Serangan Island, which would host one end of the proposed bridge
between Sanur and Tanjung Benoa, Ceteg told the press of a long-standing
property dispute between the Bali Turtle Island Development Corporation
(BTID) and local residents of the island. Complained Beteg: “Who really owns
the land at Serangan Island? If BTID is brave enough to claim the land as
its own, I will be among the first to file opposing charges.”

Ceteg told Radar Bali that the current ownership of Serangan Island remains
unclear. He went on to explain: “This is logic: if BTID says the land is
theirs, this means they must (by law) allocate 20% of the total land area to
Denpasar’s municipal government to be used for public facilities (fasum) and
social facilities (fasos).” To date, BTID has reportedly yet to allocate any
share of the land to the local government.

The local legislator warns that because of the unclear title to the island’s
lands, any development will be thwart with problems in the future.

And, if these complications were not enough, Ceteg, pointed to a building
prohibitions surrounding Serangan’s major holy site of Pura Sakenan plus the
densely populated nature of Tanjung Benoa, destined to serve as the other
end of the proposed bridge, which he believes cannot accommodate a major
toll road.

“Insisting that Tanjung Benoa’s sole access road of Jalan Pratama cannot be
widened, Ceteg went on to say: “If the STB toll road happens, it would
require a widespread evacuation of Tanjung Benoa. And, remember, there are
many sacred sites on Tanjung Benoa and many temples ­ not to mention mosques
and Chinese temples.”

Another local legislator and also a member of Committee D, Ida Bagus Gede
Sarjana, questioned how ships will continue to access Benoa harbor if the
new road and bridge are built. “We’ve never been invited to discuss this
project,” complained Sarjana.

Is the new toll road already under construction? Radar Bali reports that PT
Tunas Jaya Sanur has been granted access to the beach at Serangan,
supposedly to begin preparatory work for the toll road. Ceteg returned to
the lack of clarity on land title on the island, asking: “The access road
now in use – who does it belong to? I am a native of Serangan and know
exactly the history of the island. The access road now in use was a
cooperative project between BTID and the people of Serangan. It is not owned
by the government.”

Saying he was uncertain of the future fate of the STB, Ceteg reiterated his
complaint that the people of Serangan Island have not been consulted on the
project. Offering a possible solution, he said: “If you want to build a toll
road, it would be better to build one from Benoa to Mumbul. The distance is

less and it won’t disturb the Benoa Port operation.²

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