NATION

Lautoka Residents Live In Fear As Housing Development Takes Place

The contractors and Lautoka City Council have told residents to submit their reports and complaints first to the council.
19 Feb 2020 17:13
Lautoka Residents Live In Fear As Housing Development Takes Place
Incomplete work of the drain near Mukesh’s residence in Kashmir, Lautoka. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Concerned residents of Kashmir, Lautoka, have been feeling insecure in the past few months because a new housing development is taking place on a hill near their neighbourhood.

Kashmir resident, 56-year-old Mukesh said his family had lived in the area since 2006 and this was the first time development work had damaged their newly renovated home.

It is understood that the development works are carried out by Fair Deal Earth Moving Contractors Ltd.

The contractors and Lautoka City Council have told residents to submit their reports and complaints first to the council.

However, Mr Mukesh claimed he had submitted photos and a letter to the construction company and to Housing Authority of Fiji, unfortunately, no action was taken.

“The water and the mud came inside my kitchen, mud entered our home and broke the lock for our back door,” he said.

“They came to clear the mud, but we want something done immediately before our home is destroyed.”

The development site in Kashmir, Lautoka.  Photo: Nicolette Chambers

The development site in Kashmir, Lautoka. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Another concerned resident, Payal Devin, said soil and rainwater had caused flooding inside her compound.

“The rocks and even one bag of sand was washed down in front of our home. When it flooded last time during Tropical Cyclone Sarai, my kids helped me clear all the water and mud,” Ms Devi said.

“This is the first time flooding occurred in the area.”

Ms Devi also claimed her family had raised their concerns with the contractor’s company and the council.

A third resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said soil erosion was affecting residents on S M Koya and Eddie Wong Street.

“Last week a big rock rolled right onto our porch and lucky the children weren’t outside. One of the employees came and told the children not to go outside the house,” the resident said.

“It is risky too for us because there are big stones up there that can always roll down. If something goes wrong it is unsafe for the children.”

She has been a resident at Kashmir for the past 18 years.

The contractor’s managing director, Pramod Kumar, said if the residents had issues, they should address their concerns with the LCC.

“We have already cleared the area. If they (residents) have any issues then they should speak to the council,” Mr Kumar said.

“When it rains my workers are on standby to clear the area and liaise with the council.”

Mukesh points to where the level of water and soil was.  Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Mukesh points to where the level of water and soil was.
Photo: Nicolette Chambers

The Lautoka and Ba Special Administrators acting chairperson, Beatrice Nast, urged residents to report and raise their concerns to the council first.

“So the council can act on the complain and do something about it,” she said.

The area where development is taking place and residences at Kashmir are on is a Crown Land under the Housing Authority.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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