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$9.4m Bridge Grant

$9.4m Bridge Grant
Standing front: Khem Swagat with his family and staff at the opening Swagat restaurant at Flagstaff Plaza on November 19, 2018. Photo: Maraia Vula
September 02
21:41 2014

The Bainimarama Government yesterday signed a $9.4 million grant agreement with the Fiji Roads Authority and Denarau Corporation Limited for reconstruction of the Denarau Bridge.

Given the agreement, the Denarau Bridge, which was initially constructed/owned by Denarau Corporation Limited, will now be owned and managed by the Fiji Roads Authority.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, whilst signing the agreement, said the idea is the bridge will be constructed in a manner that is sound and lasts a long period of time.

“This agreement also ensures that FRA will have oversight over the construction of the bridge ensuring that it meets up to the various standards,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Denarau Corporation Limited has agreed to give a certain portion of the island on the approach side for FRA to have control on the area because it is the approach to the bridge.

“Denarau Corporation Limited has carried out some preliminary assessments in terms of the construction company,” he said.

“FRA will make sure all the obligations are met and the construction should commence as soon as possible.”

Fiji Roads Authority chief executive, Neil Cook, said they will begin with construction proper in a few months time as they are finalising the design details at the moment.

“Towards the end of that period, we should see establishment and some preliminary works start on site and the overall project will take about 12 months,” he said.

Economic significance

Denarau Corporation director, Pramesh Sharma, acknowledged the Government for their timely assistance.

He said: “The project is of huge economic significance as it is a major link to the island from the rest of Viti Levu.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed Denarau played a very pivotal role in the tourism industry.

“It’s not only because of the 10 or so resorts, but it is also a link to the Mamanucas and Yasawas; not only for tourists but for locals as well,” he said.

“Government has been improving infrastructure across Fiji. The road to Denarau has been reconstructed and this is a major feature of Government.

“We believe we need to continue with the infrastructure development.

“Once you have the right infrastructure in place, the individuals and businesses are given the impetus to invest and it also motives them as individual citizens.”

Meanwhile, the Denarau Bridge construction issue has been an ongoing one for over a year now.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the reason the resolution had taken this long was as there were certain negotiations which had to be carried out.

Feedback:  litia.cava@fijisun.com.fj

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