43 development leases secured on iTaukei land

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar with Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports Alvick Maharaj during break between sessions at Parliament on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

MINISTER for Housing Premila Kumar says securing a development lease is a hard task when trying to formalise an informal settlement.

While speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, she said Government had only managed to secure 43 development leases on iTaukei land.

“When a squatter is created, it simply means the person goes and occupies the land illegally. Sometimes that land is not a State land,” he said.

“That land is TLTB land which means that we have to negotiate for a development lease.

“For that, 60 per cent of the people must agree. “That is why, previously I mentioned that it is so hard to get development lease.

“So far we only secured 43 development leases and we are trying our level best to get more.”

She added that development of an informal settlement could also be made more difficult by the residents.

“We have to walk in, create that road, build that place and again there is a huge problem within the community as well.

“They do not want the road to be on this side, they do not want the drain to be on the other side, so it is a huge problem.

“So, it is not easy that you walk in and you can just develop that area and walk out, we can only do that with a green field but not in a settlement where people are living. That is the difficulty.”

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