When I first arrived in Batam island in 2003, the island's weather was so hot and stinging (about 33 ° C showed at that time). From Hang Nadim Airport, we set off towards the lodgings provided by our company. Along the way, we seen a lot of trees on the right and left side of the road. This island looks like a forest that has not been touched by human hands. There are still many visible puddles like small lakes between trees, red soil which adds to the impression that the island is really still half of forest. However, after 15 minutes we entered the heart of this island. Although still many trees and hills seen along the road, but we're starting to see some houses and shops that line in the city. Moreover, after entering Nagoya district where we staying, Nagoya is a far cry from the first impression we get when we set foot on the island of Batam, a wilderness. Nagoya is a sparkling area with full pulse-beat of the people doing business.
But in seven years, the development of the island is growing very fast. New housing, new malls, new hotels are popping up a lot. Areas that had been a land of trees to be razed and replaced with residential buildings and ruko (house – shop). Not only land was trimmed, hills were cut, battered and cut down to establish of housing with atmosphere of the hills. Development is so fast in this island that sometime ignored environmental preservation.
Batam Island alone possesses the 415 km2 area. But Otorita Batam (Batam Authority) has expanded it by building bridges to several islands including the island of Rempang and Galang. Bridge was named Barelang Bridge (Batam, Rempang, Galang). Batam has become 715 km2. (Larger than Singapore which only 647 km2). Natural disaster someday will happen to this small island if we do not keep and preserve its natural. So I think the local government is keen to control the preservation of nature before it’s too late. Do not let the island is submerged by the flood! Do not let this island landslides leveled to the ground!