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Letter Of The Week
An artist’s impression of Damodar City in Labasa. The project is expected to begin next year if all necessary approvals are granted. Photo: DAMODAR GROUP
June 05
14:04 2018

Damodar City LABASA

Dewan Chand, Suva

 

It is heartening to learn that the Damodar Group of Companies has decided to construct a Damodar City in Labasa.

It is a historical development of a massive magnitude, which is bound to catapult Labasa into a modern industrial town. Initially it will provide instant work for thousands of construction workers.

Subsequently it will provide employment in a variety of economic activities, which will spring up in and around Damodar City. I see this as a decisive step that will arrest the outflow of people of Labasa into Viti Levu and outwardly bound for Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Maybe not completely, but it will be a great reason for the youth of Labasa to stay back and serve there.

The faith of the Damodar Group of Companies to invest $40 million in the economy of Labasa is a clear reflection of its faith in the policies of the FijiFirst Government and its land reform policies, which have provided greater sense of security for investment in our beloved country.

The draconian policies of the earlier governments to use land as a political tool by not renewing the land leases for sugarcane farmers led to a massive migration of people from Labasa into Suva, thus the springing up of squatter settlements in the Suva-Nausori corridor.

Many of these uprooted people never returned to Labasa for very obvious reasons. Fears of forcible removal or Gestapo-type takeovers are still lingering in many minds.

Those who have moved overseas and established new homes in foreign lands still want to come back. The current Government’s dual citizenship policies has done much to entice some to return.

But many still fear the trauma of the aftermath of the coups. Labasa is a very beautiful place and the hospitality of the Labasa people has given it the name Friendly North.

And believe you me that Labasa is a very friendly place. Labasa town on the banks of Labasa River is an equally inviting place. There has been much physical growth in the town in recent years.

The improvement of transinsular roads from Savusavu to Labasa and Labasa to Bua has done much for the mobility of people and goods.

Modern ferry services have done much to encourage this mobility.

Waiqele Airport needs to be upgraded and the cost of travelling reduced substantially to encourage more people to travel.

At the moment the travellers are very choosy! The natural geographic beauty of Labasa is excellent! The towering Three Sisters Mountains and the surrounding ranges provide an idyllic setting. The fertile plains formed by the Qawa River, Labasa River and Wailevu River have been the home of thousands of lush green sugarcane farms.

Labasa Sugar Mill majestically sits on the banks of the Qawa River. The sugar mill is the centre of a hive of activities. The newly-constructed Damodar City will not be very far from here.

My hearty congratulations to the people of Labasa for this landmark development. And thanks to the Damodar Group of Companies for the confidence in Labasa.

DEWAN CHAND, will receive a Philips 1.5L SS Kettle from Courts as our Letter of the Week winner (Week 4) for April.

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