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Canggu Residents Disagree With Compensation Offered To Sell Land To Improve Bali Roads

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It was confirmed in the last few weeks that the Badung Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Office had been awarded a budget to improve roads around Canggu in 2023. The news came after senators called on the provincial government to grant more funds to tackle the long-standing issue of traffic congestion in the popular tourism destination. 

Rice Paddied Farmland In Canggu Bali

It is widely acknowledged that something has to be done to upgrade the road infrastructure in Canggu to support the huge volumes of traffic that now travel through the area at all times of the day and night. Residents and tourists alike are becoming sick of not being able to get around town easily, and many have taken matters into their own hands. 

There have been dozens of reports of moped drivers making their own shortcuts through agricultural land to try and avoid the often gridlocked Canggu Shortcut road. In one instance, farmers and landowners have taken matters into their own hands and have applied for permission to self-fund a new road through rice paddies. 

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One of the main congestion points in Canggu is the iconic Canggu Shortcut. The Badung Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Office has been awarded a budget of IDR 60 billion (USD 3.8 million) to widen the Canggu Shortcut and improve other surrounding roads. Officials are trying to acquire 4,000 square metres of land that has an estimated value of IDR 20 billion (USD 1.2 million). A settlement on the sale of the land, or compensation for acquisition has yet to be agreed. 

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Community leader, Kawan Gde Hardi Raharj, has confirmed to reporters that land acquisition has been tough. He suggested that despite a general consensus that the roads in Canggu should be widened and upgraded, those whose land it would impact are reluctant to engage in a dialogue. He said there “has been no socialization or direct notification” regarding the road upgrades. The Head of Tibubeneng Village, I Made Kamajaya, echoed the sentiments. He said that the situation “is currently still tough”. 

The Head of the Tibubeneng Village Welfare Section, I Putu Yoga Bawantara, told reporters that there are 5-6 land owners who would be impacted by the land acquisition and subsequent construction. With construction set to start in 2023, there is still time for a dialogue to happen. 

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While some residents resist selling off their land, in other villages, communities are taking matters into their own hands. In early December farmers in Banjar Tegal Gundul confirmed to reporters that they have approached the governing authorities to gain permission to build a proper road through their farmland to help ease the growing traffic issues. 


Speaking to the media, 65-year-old village leader and local farmer I Nyoman Lendram, known as Pak Suan, shared plans to upgrade one key farm track into a 5m wide road. The road was previously used only by community farmers as an access-only track to the rice paddies. In the last few months, moped drivers have begun using the path to try and avoid the main roads in Canggu and the Canggu Shortcut itself. He told reporters how, as a child, the thin farm track known as Mango Alley, or the Batu Capture Route, was roughly concreted by a village elder but has not been maintained. 

Moped Driver Drives Down Rural Farm Track Road In Bali Lined With Banana Trees.jpg

The plan is to turn the 300m stretch of Mango Alley into a 5m wide tarmac road. Pak Suan shared that the community has completed preliminary assessments and have created a plan of action. The project plans have been shown to the Tegal Gundul Banjar Service Office and other community stakeholders and were received positively. 


Wayan Suryanta, on behalf of the Tegal Gundul Banjar Service Office, explained, “The plan is to widen it to 5 meters from top to bottom, and we have asked the land/rice field owners to give it away free of charge, and they agreed”. The project proposal has now been handed over to the Badung Regency Public Works and Public Housing Service. The PUPR would ultimately complete the construction of the new road.

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Thursday 15th of December 2022

Quote "Officials are trying to acquire 4,000 square metres of land that has an estimated value of IDR 20 billion (USD 1.2 million)".

I must laugh. It is only the not so bright expats paying USD 1.2 million for a piece of rice field land or those in need of washing their laundry.

In reality among locals a 4,000 m2 of rice field is probably worth USD 10,000. Not much more if used for roads. Anybody with slight knowledge on how public budgets are decided in Indonesia know what is going here.


Thursday 15th of December 2022

More road, more ugly store around, less rice field.. Canggu is destroying himself through the greediness of the money.. I guess they already have enough money if it didnt goes into the corruption and the pocket of the government instead of the infrastructure

Wayan Bo

Thursday 15th of December 2022

Sure not, can drive enduro bikes on the beach like in 1980’s.


Thursday 15th of December 2022

Nobody should own a land, it's not the result of our work, it was already there before us. Keeping this ego we go nowhere.