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Fiji Time: 12:51 PM on Friday 25 April

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Residents unhappy

Ioane Burese
Thursday, January 31, 2013

CLOPCOTT residents in Ba are unhappy about the new upgrading squatter settlement project proposed by the Ba Town Council.

Clopcott Valele Vutuni squatter settlement resident committee official Mukesh Chand said more than 100 people gathered in a meeting on Monday to express their disappointment about the conditions given by the council with regards to an upgrading project to build residential lots in the Valele, Vutuni area.

"Most of us are living below the poverty line and we cannot afford to pay for the land that the council is selling it for," said Mr Chand.

"We have learned that it could be selling the lots at $15,000 each which is something that we cannot afford."

Mr Chand said many residents expressed anger at how the council was not listening to their grievances.

"Many of us are market vendors, labourers and sugarcane farmers with our income lying below the poverty line," he said.

Ba Town Council special administrator Arun Prasad had announced the new upgrading project, stating the payment term for the residents would be reasonable.

Mr Prasad said a period of seven years would be given to the squatter residents to pay for the leased lots.

He said a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Local Government last week involved discussions on how to fund the project.

The ministry has confirmed $200,000 would be given to council for the project.