Cut-Price Toll Road Construction Set to Start
Work on the Nusa Dua-Denpasar toll road is due to start this month, despite a lack of funding.
The 11.5-kilometre road which will run along the east coast has experienced delays and funding problems, but Sumaryanto Widayatin, deputy minister for infrastructure and logistics at the State Enterprises Ministry announced last week that work would begin on December 21.
Widayatin said that although funding to meet the original Rp5.5 trillion (US$603 million) cost of the project had not been raised from private investors, it was now hoped that the work could be done for just Rp2 trillion. The revised sum meant work could now go ahead, he said, adding that work was set to be finished ahead of 2013’s APEC Summit in Bali.
The revised amount will now be provided by a consortium of state organisations and sourced from credit loans from state-owned banks, including airport operator Angkasa Pura I and the Bali Tourism Development Corporation.
Widayatin said concluding funding arrangements were now underway.
“We’re finalising the bidding process and it will be completed within two weeks. We will start construction on December 21,” he said. “We will use only local resources, including human resources and construction materials so that we can keep the budget down.”
“We have proposed the preliminary design to the Bali administration, and they have agreed with it,” Sumaryanto added.
Widayatin said that costs had been drastically cut by plotting the entire route of the road above water, meaning that the project no longer depended on expensive and time-consuming land acquisition.
“The breakthrough was not only in speeding up the projected construction time but also in reducing the project budget,” he said.
The road will be built on raised pillars above water and coastal wetlands, including 1.5 hectares of protected mangrove forest. The work around the mangroves has been approved by the Forestry Ministry.
Local campaigning NGO the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), has raised concerns about the environmental and social impact of the project.
“Besides the impact on mangroves and waterways, we are concerned that if the road crosses through that area, it may block access to the sea for subsistence fishing communities. It would need to be quite high for them to get their sailboats underneath,” said I Wayan Gendo Suardana, Walhi’s Bali head.
Suardana said claims that the toll road would cure Bali’s chronic traffic problems were flawed.
“It will just move traffic jams elsewhere. Bali needs regulations to promote public transportation and limit private vehicle ownership,” he said.Filed under: Headlines