The company that manages the soon-to-be-opened Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua toll road has been given one year to completely repair the environmental damage caused by the construction of the island’s first toll road.
“We hope that the company finishes the rehabilitation work earlier than the timeframe. The project’s environmental impact analysis (AMDAL) stipulates that the company has a maximum of one year to rehabilitate any environmental damage caused by the project,” Bali Environment Agency head, Nyoman Sujaya, said recently.
The road is managed by PT. Jasa Marga Bali Tol, a subsidiary of state-owned PT. Jasa Marga.
Construction of the toll road, which started in December 2011, has reached its final stage and the road is expected to become operational this month. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is slated to inaugurate the highway on July 13.
The project triggered loud complaints from environmental activists and NGOs, who claim that it is inflicting irreversible damage on the coastal areas and mangrove forests spanning the island’s southern shore.
The complaints grew when the developer piled up limestone in the shallow waters off the coast to provide footings and a supply road for the construction of reinforced concrete piers. Limestone shoring was considered the best technique to build the 12.7-kilometer road, as around 34,000 concrete pillars had to be installed along the coastal area. This method also enabled the developer to meet the deadline demanded by the government: the toll road had to be completed before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in early October this year.
To accommodate the new method, the government allowed the developer to revise its AMDAL, a move that further enraged environmentalists.
Sujaya added that an administrative sanction would be imposed if the company could not complete the environmental rehabilitation within one year.
Separately, public relations officer for PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol, Drajad H Suseno, said that work to repair the environment around the project area had been underway for months.
“When the major construction finished, we started dredging the area. In some areas, we have also replanted the mangroves,” Drajad said.