15 July, 2017, 12:00 am
We already have two cities (Suva/Lautoka) in Fiji and few more according to a famous fancy phrase “in the pipeline” are being considered.
Before the 2014 General Election, a grand official ceremony took place in Nasinu to develop “Waila City” with many amenities for people and this project was really high on the agenda.
This was to be a multi -million dollar project on 700 acres of freehold land.
For about 15 minutes firecrackers exploded non-stop and illuminated the sky near Valelevu.
I stood in front of my house (Caubati) and imagined how cheerful, happy and excited those present to witness the event must have felt on that particular day.
When I first heard the sound of powerful firecrackers. I thought that few people in Nasinu township have begun to celebrate Diwali and Christmas in advance.
The atmosphere was filled with dense smoke and it surely must have suffocated several mosquitoes and killed them because of inhaling carbon monoxide.
What really sounds grand in theory and dream, many times does not eventuate.
The people of Fiji are still waiting for the city to take shape or has the project become dormant like a volcano?
Now Nadi is also being considered to be declared a city. Before this becomes a reality, relevant authorities should take appropriate action so that during heavy rain, the town does not get flooded. Otherwise tourists would see and feel uncomfortable to witness a flooded city with debris floating and boats moving from entry to exit point.
This town is the first one seen by tourists through the Queens Rd before reaching Suva City. More beautification within Nadi Town is really needed to make it look really attractive. The Nadi International Airport upgrading has already added a glamour that was long overdue.
Government has for 2017/2018 financial year allocated $24.2 million for the new Ministry of Waterways to manage the maintenance of drainage systems and waterways in Fiji, including creeks, tributaries and rivers to address recent flooding and drainage problems around the country.
As stated in recent budget announcement, widening and rehabilitating the Nadi River is estimated to cost $385 million over a three-year period.
No doubt Nadi is the fastest-growing urban centre in the West, but a lot needs to be done to permanently prevent flooding problem and also solve regular traffic jams from both sides so that it does not irritate those coming to our shores for holidays and sightseeing. Let all the necessary infrastructure work and tidiness be completed before Nadi is declared a city.
An idea was floated sometime ago to declare the largest township population wise, Nasinu a city. But the plan that may be in the tunnel has become silent so far like a cyclone that has crossed its path after causing destruction.
Before Nasinu is declared a city, relevant authorities should develop 20 squatter settlements that have a huge population. A lot more is needed in terms of constructing footpaths alongside roads so that it is safer for pedestrians to walk. Roads in many areas need improvements and also widening, provision of better drainage system, environmental cleanliness and other amenities should be put in place.
Let us avoid this city declaration fever in our country for the time being and focus more on turning our existing towns up to a modern standard first before making any such announcements and declarations.
The latest development that we are now hearing about is the establishment of Nakasi city.
Those present to witness the announcement by the Minister for Local Government, Parveen Kumar recently must have felt delighted to know about the $750 million project a year before general election are held in 2018.
People really do not want to wait for too long to see what has been said by people in power that does not take shape in reality.
We should be paying greater attention towards developing those projects that really spring up soon and it provides better services and is of immense benefit for the citizens of this country.
It is no use talking and organising grant celebrations to make announcements about certain projects and programs and later people begin to wait and wait until the waiting stops.