Vanua gives blessing

Artist's impression of the Labasa Damodar City. Picture: Supplied

WORK on the $40 million Damodar City complex in Labasa is expected to begin by the end of next week.

Damodar Group chief executive officer Div Damodar said the project was dedicated to the people of Vanua Levu.

Speaking during a meeting with the Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere on Tuesday, Mr Damodar said his visit was to seek the blessing of the vanua of Caumatalevu on the project.

Mr Damodar said the construction of the complex alone would employ 100 to 120 people.

“It is quite a large project and our contractors including subcontractors will be employing people here in the North,” Mr Damodar said.

“The project will not be carried out in phases, but rather all phases will begin at once bringing labour mobility in the North, especially in the construction sector. “Once completed, the project should not only generate employment, but open up space for other investors, boosting the supply chain of produce for farmers and local manufacturers in the North. “One thing that makes our complex in the North different from the present structure in Suva is that it contains food courts, hotel, including two conference facilities which have been implemented following a research we carried out this end.”

Mr Damodar said he did not want to copy and paste their Damodar City concept from Viti Levu to Vanua Levu, but instead they carried out their research which was why it had taken long for the project to begin. “We want the complex to have services that are tailor-made to suit people’s needs,” he said.

“The new complex is very family oriented and it also includes a child’s play centre for those between the ages of 3 to 8-years old.”

Mr Damodar said it would take two years for the project to be completed.

Receiving Mr Damodar’s sevusevu yesterday, Ratu Katonivere gave the vanua’s blessings for the project, adding it will boost the development of the North.