NEWS

Penalty Signage Had Been Amended, Investigations Continue

This drew concerns as devotees flocked to the Laucala Bay foreshore over the weekend to celebrate Ram Navami and were seen within the ban boundaries.
19 Apr 2019 10:19
Penalty Signage Had Been Amended, Investigations Continue

Swimming ban from the Marine Academy to the My Suva Park Police Post is still in effect to date, says Permanent Secretary for Waterways and Environment, Joshua Wycliffe

This drew concerns as devotees flocked to the Laucala Bay foreshore over the weekend to celebrate Ram Navami and were seen within the ban boundaries.

National President of the Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji Sarju Prasad said they were not aware of the ban that was in place.

The ban came into effect under the Environment Management Act 2005 General standards.

Mr Wycliffe said the Ministry is currently investigating and that initial test results had shown that it is not safe for swimming.

“We are testing for both chemical and biological pollutants,” says Mr Wycliffe.

The Ministry is advising members of the public to refrain from going into the affected site until further notice.

The initial ban notice had said that a $2000 penalty will be imposed on anyone found to be breaching this ban.

However, when Fiji Sun visited the site yesterday, the notice placed there had been amended and the part about the $2000 penalty has been pasted over so it is not visible on the notice anymore.

Mr Wycliffe was unable to confirm at the time if the Ministry had amended the notice.

“I am not sure if the Ministry diditbutIdonotthinkitwas vandalised,” he said.

“If it was vandalised they would have told us but I’ll have to confirm on it and at this stage I am not able to confirm.

“I do not know if really $2000 is applicable, so if it is not applicable then the Ministry might have removed it.”

On whether any action would be taken on the people who breached the ban Mr Wycliffe said: “I have not seen anyone swim but if it comes to our notice then yes.”

He said the Ministry had not received any requests for waivers to swim or for any religious activities.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: neelam.prasad@fijisun. com.fj

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