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Worries over shop closure

Luke Rawalai
Friday, July 04, 2014

ABOUT 6000 people along the Seaqaqa coastal area in Macuata are worried about the imminent closure of the only shop in the area.

Canecutter Joseva Radikedike has been cutting cane in the area for some time and said canecutters would now find it hard to cut cane in the area without the shop.

"We heard that police had visited the shop owner Sanju Reddy and instructed for the closure of the shop," said Mr Radikedike.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the shop had to be closed because the owner was operating without proper licences.

Insp Sokomuri said this had been confirmed to them by an officer from the Ministry of Local Government.

People said their major concern now was having to dig deeper into their pockets to travel to the main shopping centre for their shopping and other business transactions.

Located about 20 kilometres away from the Seaqaqa Growth Centre, Sanju Reddy's shop has been catering for the people in the Vunimako, Navidamu, Nakalou, Raviravi and Korotolutolu area for the past 14 years.

According to Rakai Ratakele, the shop had been a one-stop-shop for people in the area because in the past, they had to spend $4 for transportation to Seaqaqa just to buy a packet of salt or a gallon of kerosene. Mr Ratakele said during the cane crushing season, the shop was also a shopping centre for cane cutters.

Vunimako villager Repeka Dibogi said people travelling right to Labasa to buy supplies would often have to spend $10 for return fare.

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