Fiji Time: 8:30 PM on Monday 24 July

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Mere Naleba
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AN access road used by hundreds of people of Waidamudamu settlement in Nausori was closed off yesterday by the landowner.

Residents of the settlement, which has been earmarked for a $5 million development by Government, were yesterday denied access by the landowner who did not wish to be named.

By 1pm yesterday, all residents owning vehicles at the settlement had to park along the Kings Rd area in Nakasi after a group of men constructed temporary barricades across the road leading to the settlement.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed last night that the road was still blocked and two police officers were based there.

"The leaseholder of the land has blocked off the road which is being developed. We went to the scene and the landowner is concerned that no prior consultation was made with him about the current development, which is why he erected the roadblock," she said.

"Those living in the community at this stage can access another feeder road. However, access by foot is still possible via the blocked road but not vehicles. Tomorrow (today) a meeting is scheduled to take place between TLTB, Fiji Roads Authority and police to resolve the matter."

Two police vehicles arrived at the scene yesterday and a crowd gathered at the entrance of the road, while the group of men worked on the barricades.

Residents prefer to use the blocked access road because it has been levelled and graded properly compared with the one they were forced to use yesterday.

Meanwhile, Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Kumar said there would be a meeting for stakeholders today and the issue would be sorted out.

"The place where we are having this subdivision is not affected, it is just the entry. But there is another entry on the side and they are using it," he said.

"My permanent secretary went there with TLTB and police and it has been sorted out, tomorrow (today) there will be a stakeholders meeting."

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the project about two weeks ago, it was revealed the housing development planned for the settlement would provide housing to 1330 people.

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