NATION

Court Orders Company To Stop Use Of Access Road

That the company failed to obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment and permission from relevant government authorities before constructing the road for movement of heavy vehicles and transportation
26 Jan 2019 10:00
Court Orders Company To  Stop Use Of  Access Road

That the company failed to obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment and permission from relevant government authorities before constructing the road for movement of heavy vehicles and transportation of gravel.

The Suva High Court has issued an interim injunction restraining Basic Industries Limited from constructing and using an access road across native reserve lands in Tailevu.

In a court decision delivered by Judge Justice Deepthi Amaratunga, it was revealed that Basic Industries Limited (BIL) was issued with a gravel extract licence valid for one year in Wailiko River, Sawakasa, Tailevu.

The licence was valid from 1 January to 31 December 2018.

The head of the mataqali Ulugai, Sakiusa Waqa claimed that the licence did not provide the company access rights across land which spans 694.0358 hectares.

However, they had begun construction of an access road for the purpose of gravel extraction.

Mr Waqa also claimed environmental damage due to the construction of the road and stated that without dereservation of the land, no right of way could be granted in law.

He added that the company failed to obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment and permission from relevant government authorities before constructing the road for movement of heavy vehicles and transportation of gravel.

In its affidavit in response, the company stated that it had paid $8,224.50 for road access and had been given approval for road access and constructed the road approximately 2-4 kilometres on an existing old logging road from the last house at a nearby settlement to the river.

They argued that the road was near completion and any injunction issued would seriously affect gravel extraction operation.

“If the injunction is not granted the Defendant may construct any road from any place including and not limiting native reserve ignoring all other legal requirements. This is not acceptable and needs to be restrained,” Judge Amaratunga said. Edited by Susana Tuilau

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