Ni Komang Erviani, Contributor, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar , | Sat, 09/27/2008 10:30 AM | Bali
Following increased development of tourist facilities inside and around sacred Balinese Hindu areas, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika on Friday disclosed his administration’s plan to revise the province’s bylaw on land use.
The development of the villas has triggered a heated controversy with environmental activists and politicians on one side against the regent of Badung, who issued the building permits, and the local villagers of Uluwatu on the other side.
The former group has accused the development of violating the existing bylaw, particularly its clause declaring the five-kilometer perimeter area around the temple no development zone. The latter group has argued that the regulation prevents locals from gaining any benefit from their land that lies inside the perimeter area.
Pastika said the bylaw was not only outdated, but since it was ratified in 2005, two years before the passing of the country’s law on land use, it didn’t fully conform with the national legislation.
“The existence of the bylaw, which doesn’t reflect the actual condition and doesn’t conform with the higher regulation, has created numerous controversies,” he said.
He specifically cited the five-kilometer perimeter around Uluwatu temple as an example.
“The bylaw declares it a no development zone, however, the reality in the field is quite different. There has been many buildings developed inside those perimeter. We should take this reality into consideration since locals also need jobs,” he said.
“So we need a new regulation that accurately reflects the reality in the field.”
A team of experts will be formed to thoroughly review the regulations and to gather comprehensive data from the field.
“Members of the team will be drawn from various government agencies as well as from elements of the affected communities,” he said.
The revision, Pastika stressed, was an effort to accommodate the public’s needs and aspirations.
“We don’t want to violate any regulation and at the same time we don’t want an opportunity to increase the people’s welfare being hampered (by a regulation),” he pointed out.