Authorities Ensure Batam's Rempang Beaches Accessible for Tourists Following Clash on the Island
TEMPO.CO, Batam - The police confirmed that tourists in Rempang Island could still visit the beaches on Batam's resort island located in Riau Islands Province. Rempang is one of the beach destinations in Batam City.
"Tourist destinations (on Rempang Island) operate normally," said the chief of Barelang (Batam, Rempang, Galang) Police Resort, Sr. Comsr. Nugroho Tri Nuryanto on Friday, Sept. 8.
Visitors can still enjoy the beauty of the beaches on Rempang Island
Nugroho said that the visitors could still enjoy the beauty of the beaches in Rempang despite the clash in the past few days on the island. "If (tourists) want to go to the beach, go ahead, it is safe, please enjoy the beauty of Rempang beaches," he said.
The police explained that the condition in Rempang has now been calm in Rempang. No more residents were seen obstructing joint forces from installing stakes and measuring land.
The joint forces will also immediately clear the area in the near future. "On the 28th (of September) Rempang Island will be clean and clear to be handed over to developer PT MEG," said Nugroho Tri Nuryanto, on Thursday evening, Sept. 7.
Chronology of road blocking
The indigenous people of Rempang Island, Batam City, clashed with the joint forces on Thursday, Sept. 7, at around 10:00 local time, due to the force entrance by the officers to install stakes of Rempang Eco-City development. The people who refused the presence of joint forces blocked the road by cutting trees and even putting container blocks in the middle of the road.
The road blockade was the people's protest against the development of Rempang Island as a national strategic project that will be built as a new economic zone. The government planned to relocate the residents to other areas but they refused it.
The project was set as the National Strategic Project (PSN) at the end of August. Various industries, tourism, and housing will be built in this area under the management of PT Makmur Elok Graha (MEG) as the developer.
However, the plan sparked rejection from the locals who have been residing in the Rempang Island area since 1934. Residents do not want their hometown to be removed even though they are given a place to relocate.
The blocked road is the only access for tourists to visit the beautiful beaches or other destinations on Rempang Island. Following the incident, the joint forces set up seven posts in the area which are closely guarded by the authorities.
Yogi Eka Sahputra
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