Fiji Time: 9:40 PM on Thursday 22 March

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Villagers pay more

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, March 14, 2014

BUSINESSES affected, daily commuters pay more for bus fares and students take a longer route to get to school as the bridge near the village lies broken under water.

The bridge near Nakama Village outside Labasa Town has been under repair over the past year.

Residents and shop owners in the area yesterday expressed frustrations over the delay of the bridge repairs.

Satendra Naidu said the bridge had not been fully repaired and for the past three years, residents and villagers had to catch the bus to town before making their way to school which sits near the airport.

"We can see Waiqele Secondary School from my home and it is across the river but we can't cross the bridge because of strong currents that can take us down the river," he said.

"So students this side have to catch the bus to town and then get on another bus to travel to school — which is like ten minutes ride from here if we cross the bridge.

"For the past three years the bridge condition has remained the same and not improved so when a flood comes it washes away half of the bridge."

Businessman Ashok Lal said most of his income came from villagers of Nakama.

"Since the bridge condition deteriorated over the past three years, my business has been affected," he said.

"After the flood, they fix the bridge and when another flood comes, half of the bridge goes down with the flood.

"This is an old story and we want government to build a better bridge."

Provincial Administrator Macuata Joseva Rokonai said they had liaised with officials of the Fiji Roads Authority about repairing the bridge.

"We are aware about the case and will work with FRA."

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