Tourism improvements must be accompanied by infrastructure improvements was the main takeaway from a hearing at the Bali Regional Governments Budget meeting on Tuesday 2nd August. During the discussion, Bali senators touched upon the tourism developments in Canggu Village and Tibubeneng Village, both of which are commonly referred to simply as Canggu.
The rapid tourism development in the area has not been accompanied by sufficient infrastructure development which is causing a number of issues; the most noticeable of which is traffic congestion. The government agreed that serious attention must be given to the issue so that congestion in the area can become a thing of the past.
The issue was tabled by I Wayan Sandra who is the Chairman of the Commission III Badung DPRD. He explained how the traffic conditions in and around Canggu Village and Tibubeneng Village are often at the point of gridlock. He shared his belief that although tourism development has bought benefits, the infrastructure should have been developed alongside the new facilities.
He explained how much of the development in the area has been made by private investments and received less input from the local government than elsewhere on the island. He said ‘It’s very congested at the moment. Not a moving jam, but a stationary jam. That’s the condition of guests around Tibubeneng, Canggu, Pererenan to the west’.
Chairman Sandra asked the government to give more attention to the issue and to deliver more funding for infrastructure development in the area. He also explained how Canggu as a tourism region has grown from Canggu Village and Tibubeneng Village and now spans as far as Cemagi in Mengwi.
He confirmed that ‘Every year there is an improvement. If it is not handled immediately, it is not impossible that it will be in the national spotlight because of poor infrastructure’. He urged the local government to assign funds for infrastructural developments in the area before its too late.
Sandra went on to explain the issues are not only about traffic but land management as a whole. Flooding has become an increasingly dangerous threat to the Canggu area as more and more land is built upon without sufficient consideration for water management, especially during the rainy season.
He explained ‘In Dalung the sidewalks and sewers are good. Once the water enters Tibubeneng, the roads and sewers are [level or overflowing] because the sewers have never been repaired’. He gave examples of other areas in Canggu where once puddles would be formed and dry within hours, that now become flooded for days on end.
In response the Head of Badung TAPD who is also the Badung Regional Secretary I Wayan Adi Arnawa agreed with Chairman Sandra. He did confirm that regional government funds have been budgeted for the area so far.
He did not immediately commit to increasing the budget for infrastructure in Canggu. Instead, he said ‘It is very realistic that the arrangement of infrastructure must be in line with the increase in income. Of course, it will be considered. Maybe in 2023, we will do something in the revised budget in North Kuta’.
Undoubtedly there needs to be infrastructural developments in the Canggu area to support the smooth running of the area for both locals, businesses and visitors. The villages of Canggu Village and Tibubeneng Village have undergone rapid expansion.
What was once two rural coastal villages that were the secret getaways of international surfers have expanded into one of Bali’s most busy and bustling tourism destinations.
Canggu has become a destination of choice for digital nomads, surfers, influencers, and more. It is famous for Instagram-able cafes and bars, as well as dozens of beach clubs that span the length of the area’s well-known beaches.
There is an established and growing long-term international community in Canggu and is a home for many international families who have relocated to Bali to access the island’s private schooling. Development has come in the form of hotels, hotels, beach clubs, and private villas built on what was, until a few years ago, agricultural land.
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