NEWS

Squatter Settlement Work Being Negotiated: Bala

More than 40 houses in the squatter settlement of Varo in Korovutu are expected to undergo land development for proper leasing of 99 years. This however will take time and
20 Feb 2017 13:20
Squatter Settlement Work Being Negotiated: Bala
Firoza Khatoon (left), with Minister for Local Government, Parveen Bala at Korovuto College in Nadi last night. Photo: Arishma Devi-Narayan

More than 40 houses in the squatter settlement of Varo in Korovutu are expected to undergo land development for proper leasing of 99 years.

This however will take time and residents have been told not to be mistaken or misunderstand what was explained to them last night by Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Parveen Bala at Korovuto College outside Nadi.

Mr Bala said the people had been residing in that land for than 15 years without proper leasing and they had made a request for him to look into their issues.

Residents were happy to hear that the upgrade could turn into a subdivision which will be available for 99 years lease once ready.

Sarwan Kumar, a resident of the Varo squatter settlement  said he had been living in the area for 10 years, paying yearly rental to the landowner of $200.

He had acquired the land at the cost of $2500.

“We are glad to hear that we will be looking at a proper leasing for our land in time to come,” Mr Sarwan said.

For many it was hard to obtain Government assistance without proper leases for the damages incurred by the Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Mr Bala said: “They have been residing in that land for than 15 years and this request has been made to us. I have met with the residents here and I have explained to them the process of getting the area subdivided.”

Firstly he said the what the residents needed to do was get the sub development lease and once that was acquired then it would be the responsibility of the Ministry to process the squatter settlement to a subdivision.

“Once that sub division is done then the residency will be given 99 years lease,” he said.

He said as for the part of negotiations with the landowners, the iTaukei Land Trust Board had been in talks with the landowners.

“No time frame has been promised” and Mr Kumar has requested people to understand the situation and process.

He stressed that the opinions of landowners would be kept in mind and respected as well.

Yesterday, Mr Bala visited areas of Legalega and Nasoso in Nadi and today he will be meeting with the residents of Lovu sea side in Lautoka.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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