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Fiji Time: 12:56 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Pothole concerns

Luke Rawalai
Friday, March 01, 2013

CONCERNS have been raised by people living in Labasa over the deteriorating road condition at the bus stand after a woman was injured yesterday morning.

Jai Wati, 45, of Nasea, said she was crossing the bus stand entrance when a bus turned towards her. To prevent being run over, she jumped and landed in a pothole.

"The pothole is so big that it looks like a swimming pool. I suffered a deep wound on my knee," she said. "It took four men to support me and carry me to the market police post."

Vehicle operator Deo Chand said he fell in a pothole last week but escaped injury.

Taxidriver Imtiaz Mohammed said they were weary of the council's promises to renovate and patch up the bus stand and taxi stand area.

"We continue to be levied fee which has not been used in any way for the development of these two stands," he said.

Labasa and Savusavu special administrator Vijay Chand said while they were doing minor maintenance repairs, these were the duty of the Fiji Roads Authority.

FRA chief executive officer Neil Cook confirmed they had taken over the maintenance of all roads, including those formerly maintained by municipal councils.

Mr Cook said where taxi and bus stands were part of the road formation, "we would typically see FRA looking after the pavement section of it".

"The municipal council would still be responsible for structures such as shelters, seating etc," he said.

"Someone will inspect this particular complaint soon and works will be prioritised in the context of everything else that needs doing.

"My travels around Labasa last week certainly give me a good understanding of the extent of neglect the roads have suffered over the years and deplorable is an apt description of some of the sections of road I observed."

Mr Cook said the FRA would prioritise maintenance works.