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Fiji Time: 6:50 AM on Friday 18 April

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Settlers given chance

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, January 25, 2013

FOR 75-year-old Clopcott Settlement resident Devi Dayal, the thought of leaving the area after spending about 10 years with his family at the settlement was too daunting.

But the chance to be given a proper residential lot with a 99-year lease is enough to convince him to start afresh with his wife, daughter-in-law and grandson.

"My son passed away a few years ago and I have no one left to look after us. My daughter-in-law is the only one looking after us," said Mr Dayal.

Forced to relocate to Clopcott after his lease expired in Talacake settlement about 10 years go, Mr Dayal is now preparing to move again.

Mr Dayal is one of 25 households that will soon be relocated to a temporary lot allocated by the Ba Town Council for those living on land that will be upgraded to residential lots.

Dubbed the Proposed Squatter Settlement Sub-Division project, $280,000 has been promised to the Ba Town Council to assist the families.

Once the residential lots are completed next year, Mr Prasad said households that were relocated would be given first priority to buy a lot.

"The first chance will be given to these people before we offer it to other people. This is a very ideal place to live because it is a flood-free area," said Mr Prasad.

He said the council would sell the lots at a reasonable price and give each household enough time to pay for the piece of land.

However, Ba Town Council special administrator Arun Prasad revealed priority would be given to those who would be relocated from the more than three-acre land, people like Mr Dayal.

"When I heard about what the council's doing, I thought it was a very good idea.

"I'm very happy too that they are helping us with the move. I am an old man and I don't have the strength to go and build another house from the ground up, so I am very happy that the council wil be helping me and my family with this."