NATION

River ‘Was Not Blocked’

All Earthworks Ltd’s boss defends their gravel extraction operation in the Navua River The managing director of All Earthworks Limited, Peter Chen, says they do not have a reason to
18 Jan 2016 10:30
River ‘Was Not Blocked’
Gravel extraction work being done along the upper Navua river.

All Earthworks Ltd’s boss defends their gravel extraction operation in the Navua River

The managing director of All Earthworks Limited, Peter Chen, says they do not have a reason to block the Navua River.

“We take gravel out of the river not dump gravel back into the river,” he said.

Mr Chen was replying to accusations against their company’s gravel extraction in the Navua River by the manager of Discover Fiji Tours, William Rock Danford.

He said Mr Danford also claimed their gravel extraction downstream has caused less water upstream.

“I don’t know where this theory is coming from; if the Nauva River water is limited and only contains certain amount water, then upstream getting less water could be possible.”

Mr Chen said he remembered in 2012 when Government paid China Railway First Group to do dredging downstream of the river.

“If Danford’s theory stands the test, then Government had also done the wrong thing.”

He said the fact was there had been heavy rains in Navua in just a few weeks and there was a big flood at Wainadoi but nothing happened in the Navua River.

Mr Chen said there was an issue between the iTaukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB) and Lands Department regarding licence and they had already stopped extracting gravel from the river.

He said they were waiting for the licence issue to be sorted.

Mr Danford had also claimed that the company’s gravel extraction had caused a lot of damage to the Navua River and was making life difficult for those using the river as a means of transport.

Mr Chen said in a statement sent to the Fiji Sun that nothing was wrong with the extraction of gravel from the Navua River.

Replying to Mr Danford’s claims of the river being blocked as reported in the Fiji Sun, he said he had sent a photo taken on September 19, 2015 with a new explanation to the Fiji Sun in response. He said they did not block the river.

“What happened that day was floodwaters coming from the top washed away gravel stockpiled on the river bank into the river and the excavator was trying to clear it not block it,” he said.

Edited Manasa Kalouniviti

 

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