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High Rise Worry

High Rise Worry
Work on the WG Friendship Plaza at McGregor Road in Suva is on hold. Photo: Ronald Kumar
September 04
12:47 2018

Government is taking a proactive approach in ensuring all processes are followed in the construction of the 28-storey WG Friendship Plaza currently being built along McGregor Road in Suva.

WG International Real Estate Co. (Fiji) Limited, the company be­hind the construction of the build­ing, has been issued a stop work order notice.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has written to the Min­ister for Local Government, Hous­ing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala, high­lighting concerns raised by two Fi­jian engineers.

The letter dated May 30th high­lighted concerns that local engi­neers raised, which has since led to investigations being conducted at the work site.

The concerns raised include:

“The structural steel frames are corroding significantly in some areas with no sign of any adequate corrosion protection and despite the structural steel frames not be­ing fire rated, exterior and frame cladding work is (was) underway on the construction site.

“Undertaking the fire rating later will mean that only the exposed surfaces will be fire protected and the covered areas will not. This is highly irregular and would be dis­astrous in the event of a fire.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum asked that the minister to instruct the Suva City Council to carry out an inspection of the building construction imme­diately and issue a stop work notice to the developer if the construction was indeed in breach of relevant standards and approvals.

“The fact that the council has not already attended to this suggests ei­ther complacency or corruption,” he said.

“Suffice to say it is in the best in­terest of Government to ensure that all developments comply fully with the Fijian Building Code.

“Furthermore, we must ensure that all developers are treated alike and are subject to the same rules and procedures.

“To not do the above will create a fundamental lack of confidence in the market and ultimately under­mine the economy.”

Government has also set up an in­dependent panel of three engineers to review the entire construction.

Meanwhile, WG International spokesperson William Wu earlier confirmed that a stop order notice was issued, however he said the problem was solved.

He said they have the certificates for qualified materials and their lawyer had advised them that there was no power to stop their work as there was no evidence on the claims of substandard materials used.

When contacted yesterday, Mr Wu asked for more time before the company could respond.

Edited by Percy Kean


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