Politics

Most Squatters In Suva-Nasinu Corridor: Kumar

$3 million Government has contributed for garbage collection, but that is not sufficient…so if ratepayers want services, they have to pay.
22 Feb 2020 09:34
Most Squatters In Suva-Nasinu Corridor: Kumar
Minister for Local Government, Premila Kumar. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The largest municipality in the country, Nasinu has been dubbed a squatter area.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Local Government, Premila Kumar in Parliament, yesterday.

Ms Kumar said: “This is the reality if you look at the squatter figures, majority of the squatter community live in the Nasinu – Suva area corridor.”

“Now what has happened in the Nasinu area, only 44 per cent of ratepayers are paying rates while 56 per cent of ratepayers are not,” Ms Kumar said.

The Ministry of Local Government has just completed a rate profiling to understand who these people are and why they are not paying rates.

“Without money, we cannot deliver services,” Ms Kumar said.

“Government has contributed $3 million for garbage collections, but that is not sufficient…so if ratepayers want services, they have to pay. Without paying the money you can’t ask for services, simple logic.”

The Nasinu Town Council has also been instructed to place caveats on properties that have not being paying their rates.

“If owners sell their property, the council will be notified and will recover their dues,” she said.

“Also, for ratepayers who owe above $5000, all these cases are going to the Small Claims Tribunal. And we have categorised in a way to recover rates owed.”

Last year, the Department of Town and Country Planning received a total of 401 rezoning applications.

“The Western Division had the highest number of rezoning applications at 176, closely followed by the Central/Eastern Divisions with 157 and 68 from the North,” Ms Kumar said.

“While these statistics are a good indicator to gauge the number of activity-based investments, however there was a need to streamline land use and future growth of strategic areas in the country.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ilaijia.ravuwai@fijisun.com.fj



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