Governor told to revoke Benoa Bay development permit

Ni Komang Erviani
Bali Daily /Denpasar

Pudut Island, a small island in Benoa bay that planned to be developed. (Ni Komang Erviani)

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is being urged to immediately revoke his letter permitting a private investor to develop and reclaim part of Benoa Bay as a major tourist destination.

The letter, no. 2138/02-C/HK/2012, signed on Dec. 26, 2012, has been declared unlawful.

“The gubernatorial letter contradicts the 1945 Constitution as stipulated by the Constitutional Court. The governor should revoke the letter soon because it is unlawful,” Wayan Suardana, chairman of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Bali chapter, told Bali Daily on Sunday.

The gubernatorial letter referred to Law No. 27/2007 on the management of coastal zones and small islands as one of its considerations. However, in 2010, the Constitutional Court revoked several articles of that law, including the right to commercialize coastal zones.

“The fact that the gubernatorial letter referred to a law that has been revoked means the letter is against the law,” Suardana added.

According to earlier reports, Pastika has granted PT Tirta Wahana Bali International permission to develop Benoa Bay as an integrated tourist attraction. The company has been granted management of 838 hectares with a 30-year concession and the possibility of an additional 20-year extension.

PT Tirta Wahana Bali International is one of four investors that were competing to develop enormous tourism projects in Benoa Bay. The other three investors are PT Bangun Segitiga Mas, PT Wijaya Property and PT Garuda Jaya.

The investor plans to reclaim the western part of Tanjung Benoa and areas near Benoa Harbor, building facilities on 50 percent of the reclaimed land and leaving the remaining area as a green zone.

The huge reclamation project would see development of luxury tourist facilities, including a Disneyland-like theme park, apartments, hotels, villas, an international hospital and entertainment centers.

Pastika claimed that the issuance of the permit letter was based on the recommendation of the Bali Legislative Council and a feasibility study conducted by Udayana University. However, Udayana University’s research team denied that they had completed the study. The research team leader, IB Adnyana, said that the study was unfinished.

A law expert from Udayana University, Putu Sakabawa Landra, also urged the governor to immediately revoke the permit letter, as it was issued based on an incomplete study.

“It’s not within procedure. It should be issued when the feasibility study is complete. The environmental impact analysis [Amdal] is also yet to be conducted. How could the governor issue the permit letter?” he questioned.

The secretary of the university’s law school post graduate program, also stated that the letter was unlawful as it contravened Presidential Regulation No. 45/2010 on the spatial planning of Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar and Tabanan, known as Sarbagita.

“The regulation stipulates that Benoa Bay is a conservation area. So, the project should not be built in that area,” he stressed.

Sukabawa Landra hoped that the governor would revoke the letter. “If the governor is not willing to revoke the letter, the public can file a lawsuit against him with the Denpasar State Administrative Court [PTUN],” he added.

Separately, Bali administration spokesperson Ketut Teneng denied that the letter was unlawful. He said that the letter had been issued with the correct procedure.

“The investor also needs to fulfill many other requirements before they start. The gubernatorial letter means nothing if the investor cannot fulfill these many other requirements,” Teneng said.

In addition to the permit from the governor, the investor also needs to wait for the zoning bylaw and bylaw on the management of coastal zones and small islands to be ratified. Both draft bylaws are planned for discussion in the Bali Legislative Council this year.

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