NEWS

iTaukei Lands Trust Board to Verify Savura Dam Claim

Members of the landowning unit claim the attempt to close the dam has to do with its compensation claim, which is outstanding.
06 May 2019 14:01
iTaukei Lands Trust Board to Verify Savura Dam Claim
From left: Valebure clan leader Taitusi Rokocua with fellow clan members Nimilote Ratudina, Jese Toduadua and Colo-i-Suva Village headman Tomasi Davuni at Colo-i-Suva Village on May 5, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

The iTaukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB) says it will have to verify information surrounding an attempt by a group of men to close the Savura Dam 2 at Wailoku near Colo-i-Suva on Saturday before it can comment on the issue.

The 12 men who are members of Mataqali Valebure, on whose land the dam is located, have since been taken in for questioning by the officers of the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID).When contacted yesterday TLTB Deputy General Manager Operation, Research and Development Solomoni Nata said he would have to check and verify the information before he could comment.

Members of the landowning unit claim the attempt to close the dam has to do with its compensation claim, which is outstanding.

They say the actions of the 12 men from Colo-i-Suva Village had nothing to do with the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) employees strike.

This was confirmed by Turaga-Ni-Mataqali Valebure, Taitusi Rokocua yesterday.

“Six of the 12 men are from our mataqali, four have maternal links to the mataqali and two are married into the mataqali. It has nothing to do with strike, but it has to do with the mataqali compensation,” Mr Rokocua said.

“They are still being questioned at the CID office in Toorak. They are been questioned as we speak.

“Our land is where the dam is located.  We have been trying to get compensation for that piece of land since 1967. The money was supposed to be given to us.

“We have written to the Ministry of Forestry and they came and surveyed the land and it was 160 acres. We just want to be compensated for the use of our land, which has minerals and indigenous trees. We are tired of doing everything, but our last resort is to close it. We were informed by the Ministry of Lands that we have been compensated and we asked the Ministry of Lands to give us the receipt, but we have not received anything which shows that we have not been compensated.”

Police Chief Operations Officer ACP Maretino Qiolevu said the 12 men were still being questioned in custody and the investigation continued.

When contacted yesterday WAF communications officer Peni Shute said they would comment once they were ready.

Questions sent to Minister for Land Ashneel Sudhakar remained unanswered when this edition went to press last night.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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