Ni Komang Erviani , Contributor , The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Mon, 09/29/2008 10:53 AM | Bali
The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) may file a lawsuit against the Badung regency administration for authorizing the removal of large quantities of sand from Geger beach to be used to repair Kuta beach.
Aside from allegedly damaging the environment, the sand mining project also violates existing regulations, according to an open discussion held at state-run Udayana University in Denpasar on Saturday.
Director of Walhi’s Bali chapter Agung Wardhana said the administration had violated Paragraph 2, Article 5, of Law No. 23/1997 on environment management, which states that all information related to the environment must be made public.
The administration has also violated Article 35 of Government Regulation No. 27/1999, which states that any project must carry out and publish an environmental impact analysis (Amdal), he said.
“It appears the Badung administration hid information related to the sand excavation project on Geger beach,” Wardhana said.
Wardhana said he was confident the administration had violated the law because the Walhi Bali had sent several letters to the administration requesting to see a report on the impacts of removing large quantities of sand from Geger beach, but had received no reply.
Wardhana said Walhi Bali had been appointed by the Bali Legal Aid Institute (LBH) to build a legal case against the administration. Walhi Bali has since filed a report to the police.
“There are many actions that we can take. The first will be to file a report with the police, and the second will be to bring the case to the State Administrative Court,” he said.
The excavation project has stirred up intense debate on the island in the past month, especially among environmentalists.
Sand is being taken from the seabed just off Geger beach and moved to Kuta, where it is used to fill empty spaces between newly constructed wave-breakers.
The project is designed to counter the effects of rapid sea erosion, which has decreased the area of Kuta beach.
Wardhana urged the Badung regency legislative council to take stern action against the executives.
“The council should have used its authority to pressurize the Badung administration into halting the sand mining project,” he said.
The proposed lawsuit was hailed by I Wayan Sudiana, secretary of the Council’s Commission B, who said he suspected the project had been carried out without an environmental impact analysis.
“We have asked for the analysis documents several times, but no response has been given. The administration seems as if it does not care about it or pretends to be deaf,” Sudiana said.