Improve Infrastructure on Lembongan, Urges Politician

KLUNGKUNG

A local politician has called for the authorities to work to improve infrastructure on Nusa Lembongan, saying that while tourism has developed rapidly on the island, providing increased revenues, the authorities have done nothing to support the industry.

Wayan Baru, a Klungkung regional assembly member from Lembongan’s neighbouring Nusa Penida, said that there had been no infrastructure improvements on the island for more than 10 years.

Lembongan, which is home to around 4,000 people, receives up to 10,000 visitors a month.

Baru called on the Klungkung regency government to make urgent improvements to the infrastructure on the tiny island, warning that without it tourism development there would stall and decline.

“The government is always going on about Nusa Lembongan as the tourism icon of Klungkung regency. The government should back that up by paying more attention. In fact they haven’t done anything and don’t care about the infrastructure,” he said.

Baru said that there were also issues with licensing of businesses in Lembongan because the authorities had long neglected to collect relevant data. Many of the small guesthouses and bungalow resorts on the island were operating without licenses, he said.

“It’s not just about infrastructure. The problem of licensing data is by no means a small one,” Baru said.

Vice chairman of the Klungkung regional assembly Putu Tika Winawan echoed Baru’s calls. He said that he had hopes for the development of the whole of Nusa Penida – currently one of Bali’s poorest and least-developed areas – for tourism. Winawan said a recent declaration of Penida and Lembongan as a marine conservation area would help to encourage tourism, especially in the diving sector.

He said either the regency government or the provincial authorities should take urgent action on infrastructure. He cited a bridge connecting Lembongan with the island of Ceningan, which lies in the channel between Penida and Lembongan. At present it is only passable on foot or by motorbike.

“In the future we hope that a new bridge passable by four-wheel vehicles will be built,” Winawan said.

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