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PM Directs FRA To Relook At Projects

PM Directs  FRA To  Relook At Projects
The new Levuka Market Bridge Photo: Waisea Nasokia
August 02
10:00 2018

 

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has directed the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) to relook at its road upgrading projects in the Eastern Division, especially in the maritime islands.

Mr Bainimarama fielded complaints from members of the public earlier this week during a few talanoa sessions on Ovalau regarding roading projects.

The Prime Minister instructed FRA chief executive officer Jonathan Moore to look into the matter, which includes the islands of Ovalau, Koro, and Gau in Lomaiviti, and Moala in the Lau Group.

“I am very concerned once again with the roading upgrades and I have given the directive to the Fiji Roads Authority CEO to really look into this matter,” he said.

“There have been a lot of complaints regarding the roads being damaged, including the ocean roads here on Ovalau. The maritime roading infrastructure needs to be upgraded and the FRA CEO has been instructed regarding this matter. The contractors are not helping the process as well.”

The new 2018-2019 National Budget allocation announced for the FRA is $563.1 million, comprising $29.6m for operating costs and $533.4m for capital expenditure.

Meanwhile, Mr Bainimarama labelled his tour of Ovalau as “excellent”.

He started his tour of the old capital on Monday night and ended it on Tuesday night, during which he commissioned a lot projects.

He said, “The tour has been excellent. Next will be the Ra Provincial Council meeting in Ra on Thursday”.

Mr Bainimarama was briefed by Levuka Town Council chief executive officer Josese Rakuita on projects undertaken by the council.

These included:

  • The upgrading of collapsed seawalls on the main road heading north from Levuka Town after the devastation by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston;
  •  The rehabilitation of Totogo Creek and other prioritised drainage under the Ministry of Waterways;
  •   Upgrading of footpaths;
  •  The overall upgrading projects within the town with the council building access roads to informal settlements in Levuka; and
  •  The Moturiki waiting shed that saw the collaboration of the office of the provincial administrator, the Lomaiviti Provincial Council and the Levuka town council.

Mr Rakuita said: “The council would like to acknowledge with appreciation the Government’s commitment to the Levuka Town Council as reflected in the many projects that are being undertaken by the Council.

“The business community and the ratepayers have noted with much appreciation the fast pace of development that has never been experienced before.”

Levuka Business Community and Ratepayers representative Bhupendra Kumar said: “We are hopeful that we will see a return on an investment made into our infrastructure and a boost in local economic activity, particularly in the area of increased visitor arrivals to the island.

“We hope the Government will assist and advise us in order to capitalise fully on attainable benefits possible through the World Heritage Listing, through government bodies such as the Ministry of Tourism.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

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