Bali's Chief Legislator Calls for a 'Do or Die' Commitment to Protecting Bali's Sacred Sites.
(6/14/2008) Radar Bali reports that the regional government of Badung has yielded slightly to local lawmakers' demands for stronger enforcement of zoning laws by revoking the building permit (IMB) of the Suluban Vila, near the Pura Uluwatu in the Island's south.
The Head of Badung's Zoning Authority (Dinas Cipta Karya (DCB), I Ketut Suwandi, told Radar Bali that his office had delivered a warning letter to the owner of the Suluban Villa for violating setback rules from a ravine or a cliff. Suwandi told the press that the warning letter had the same legal effect as a formal revocation of the villa's IMB and was only sent after the management repeatedly failed to respond to previous warnings.
According to Suwandi, the Suluban Villa not only violated setback regulations but had also constructed structures that did not match with the originally approved architectural plans submitted with the building permit application. The failure to keep to the approved building plans included changes in the design, structure and number of rooms.
While construction of the villa has been temporarily halted, Badung officials said that a new building permit could eventually be issued if the owner submits revised building plans that conform to the actual building erected and do not violate building and zoning regulations.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Bali's House of Representative (DPRD), IB Wesnawa, expressed his anger and aggravation with Badung's Regent for his failure to defend the sanctity of the 5 km no-build zone surrounding Pura Uluwatu. Complained Wesnawa: "We claim that our life's goal is to improve the welfare of the people (moksartam jagathita), to join with the most holy. How can we allow the weak and the blind to destroy a sacred area? We continue to hope that there will be firm action against those who violate the sanctity of Pura Uluwatu."
The Chief legislator affirmed that the protection of sacred areas in Bali must represent a "Do or Die" fight for every Balinese. He insisted that there can be no compromise if people wish to preserve Bali. The rules, according to Wesnawa, are there and must be strictly enforced.
Separately, the Chairman of the Secretariat of Commission B of the House of Representatives has told the press "all villas who break the rules must be treated the same." Sudiana describe the problem of Uluwatu as tied to the issuance of permits in contradiction to zoning and building rules in an area intended for tourist sites and not tourism accommodation.
Sudiana also called on the leadership of the House or Representatives to summon the Regent of Badung and issue a formal warning to the Region's Chief Executive for issuing illegal permits.