Pavement Repairs to Take a Decade Warns Official

DENPASAR

Pedestrians in Denpasar may be in for another 10 years of misery — that’s how long it will take to repair and upgrade the city’s crumbling pavements, a Public Works Department (DPU) official has predicted.

DPU spokesman I Ketut Winarta said that around 150 kilometres of the Bali capital’s total 240 kilometres of pavement were recorded as damaged or broken.

“Don’t let it be thought that we’re working on this too slowly, but if you want it all to be in a good condition it’s going to need a lot of time,” Winarta said, adding that the lack of funding was the key issue delaying pavement repairs.

Winarta said that much of the damage was caused by vehicles parking on the pavements.

“You know yourself that there’s a lot of parking [on pavements].  Pavements are only designed to take weights of about 300 kg, not as much as a ton,” he said, adding that other stretches were in a poor state because of their age, with some pavements constructed more than 15 years ago.

Winarta said that although there were renovation programmes planned for several sections of pavement, the funding required for city-wide repair work was unlikely to be forthcoming, not least because of confusion over the status of many pavements.

Depending on their location within Denpasar, pavements may be the responsibility of city, provincial or national governments, Winarta said, adding that identifying which level of authority ought to be funding repairs was often difficult.

“We know that people find it hard to understand, but this status issue is what’s responsible (for the problems),” he said.

Winarta added that the Public Works Department was likely to receive only around Rp7 billion (US$773,480) of funds from the government budget for the coming year, rather than the Rp25 billion it had requested.

As a result, he said, the department would have to prioritise renovation work.

“It’s just like when someone has a shirt that’s worn out and full of holes, but doesn’t have any money. Instead of buying a new one you just have to patch it — that’s the kind of thing we’re anticipating doing,” he said.

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