Assurance of leases

Housing Minister Premila Kumar speaks to residents of Lovu, Lautoka, following her visit. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

HOUSING Minister Premila Kumar has reassured residents of Lovu in Lautoka that leases for those living in informal settlements will be issued once all subdivision works have concluded.

She was in the Western Division yesterday meeting residents of informal settlements and clarifying issues pertaining to the issuance of leases.

“I know you’ve been waiting a very long time and I want to discuss other issues in relation to acquiring a lease and also assure you that to get a lease, there is a long process involved,” she said.

“To start off with, we have more than 250 squatter settlements around Fiji — it’s not an exact number and it could be even more.”

She said out of the 250-plus squatter settlements, Government acquired leases for only 43.

“So there are a number of squatter settlements that the Government has not acquired a (development) lease,” Mrs Kumar said.

“Lovu is one area where Government acquired a development lease. So when the Government acquires development lease, it simply means you are safe, secure, in other words you will not be asked to leave that area because the lease is now in the Government’s name.”

However, she said there was a process involved and they had to complete certain scoping and development works before leases were awarded.

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