TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan finally acknowledged that the Benoa Bay reclamation project by state-owned port operator Pelindo III had been marred by numerous issues.
The reclamation has officially been halted since August 22, 2019, under the orders of Bali Governor Wayan Koster which dropped the project affecting an area of 85 hectares in the vicinity of Port of Benoa in Denpasar, Bali.
“The sand disposal was not done properly which caused the demise of mangroves,” said Minister Luhut at his office on Monday, September 9.
However, despite effectively killing-off the 17 hectares of local mangrove ecosystem, he maintains that Pelindo III is not reclaiming the area but rather conducting what is known as a port dredging to better accommodate large-sized cruise ships.
Public outcry demanding Pelindo III to stop its project were voiced in multiple occasions months prior to the governor’s initial request.
In September 7, 2019, a meeting was held between the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs’ Deputy of Infrastructure Ridwan Djamaluddin, Pelindo III president-director Doso Agung, and Wayan which was held at the Bali Governor’s house in Denpasar.
The meeting saw Ridwan formally apologizing for the two dumping projects in the vicinity of the Benoa Bay, and that the firm’s activities had damaged the environment.
“As of the environmental damages, everyone would certainly not wish for this. It was a basic mishap, a technical error, mismanagement, but we will fix these issues,” said Ridwan at the meeting.
FAJAR PEBRIANTO | ANTARA