NEWS

Road Repairs In Rural Areas On Way

A memorandum of understanding signed yesterday will see roads in the rural areas getting the needed repair and maintenance. Under the agreement, 55 road upgrading and new projects have been earmarked
03 Feb 2016 11:22
Road Repairs In Rural Areas On Way
Government ministers (sitting from left) Parveen Kumar, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and Inia Seruiratu with other stakeholders after the signing yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO News

A memorandum of understanding signed yesterday will see roads in the rural areas getting the needed repair and maintenance.

Under the agreement, 55 road upgrading and new projects have been earmarked for the Eastern Division, 48 for the Central, 23 for West and 24 for the North.

The signing has come about after the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, voiced his concerns during his West tour last week that he had received many complaints concerning the bad state of rural roads.

The signing at the Attorney-General’s office in Suva was made by Parveen Kumar, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, and Inia Seruiratu, the Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and National Disaster Management.

Also present were Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea, Commissioner Central Setareki Tale, Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau, Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu, and the Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Meleti Bainimarama.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said the signing was a historic occasion because for the first time ever; the ministers would be working with Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) in the construction of rural roads over the next three years.

“These projects have in fact – all roads, Irish crossings etc, have been discussed very thoroughly between the divisional commissioners and FRA since last year and in fact specific time frames have been put around as to what will take place regarding for example the investigation, design and the construction itself,” he said.

Mr Kumar said he was happy to be involved because he had received many complaints.

Ms Vuniwaqa said she would be involved in the issuance of gravel extraction licence. She also said the issuance of licence would now be a five-year term.

Mr Seruiratu believes the new rural roads would allow people in the rural areas gain access to the markets.

The chairman of FRA, Dinesh Patel, said:

“The FRA is pleased to announce that this year we will put more emphasis to bring to the rural roads network and ensure an appropriate level of development and improvement works,” he said.

“FRA is rolling out an investment of $50 million in new and upgraded roads, crossings, bridges and jetties on the rural network.

“We are progressing and constantly reviewing how we work to look for ways in delivering better value.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

 

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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