Fiji Time: 5:51 PM on Tuesday 28 July

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DCL waits for funding

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE Denarau Corporation Limited says it has not received funding allocated over two years in the National Budget for the repair of the Denarau bridge.

In a statement, the DCL board said concerns raised by respective stakeholders and the industry in the media were "no doubt valid" but DCL could not "shed any further clarity other than it has been waiting for government since November 2011 to provide funding that was pledged".

The board said the deterioration of the bride had reached the point where both sides of the bridge now needed to have an additional temporary load bearing layer of decking installed.

Questions sent from this newspaper to the Minister for Tourism's office last week and yesterday remained unanswered.

In the 2014 Budget announced last November, $9.4million was specifically allocated for work on the bridge. The previous year, the Fiji Roads Authority was allocated $422.4million — this was to include repair works on the bridge.

Meanwhile, DCL said a board meeting decided it would fund the temporary upgrade of the bridge.

"The inward lane had its temporary decking installed in 2011, but will now have a complete renovation because it has had to remain in service well beyond its planned lifetime," DCL stated.

"The board has agreed to this substantial expenditure because of their commitment to ensure the safety of the public travelling to and from Denarau."

DCL said after discussions in 2011, it was agreed that government fund the bridge and repayments made by a toll arrangement.

"Since November 2011, DCL has continually followed up for the funding agreement and still awaits the agreement despite continuing to approve funding in the 2013 and 2014 budgets.

"With the continued delays from government, the DCL board explored the option of private funding."

The board highlighted the move for private funding was not widely accepted and the State again confirmed its assistance.





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