FRA notes rise in compensation claims

THIRTY per cent of the roads in Fiji have not been surveyed and this has caused a rise in compensation claims dating back to more than a decade, says Fiji Roads Authority CEO John Hutchinson.

Mr Hutchinson said the lack of knowledge on road boundaries and land ownership had been a cause for concern for the FRA because an increasing number of landowning units were claiming payments from FRA without proper documentation and proof.

“The lack of survey has become an issue because there is a number of outstanding land acquisition issues,” he said.

“Now, these are either people that have been paid part compensation and have not received all the compensation or have allegedly received no compensation at all.

“Some of these matters go back as far as 2002 and they are quite historical.”

During the FRA West stakeholders forum at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka yesterday, Mr Hutchinson said this was an issue he would solve in time.

He said compensation was only paid to legitimate land- owners and to identify rightful owners, proper surveys needed to be conducted.

“We have identified a large number of legacy issues and once we identify those we progressively work through them and hopefully pay the people what they are legally entitled to be paid.

“Having said that, I have also had a number of bogus claims come through where people are claiming for compensation, where they were paid compensation a number of years ago and they are asking for more.

“You can’t pay for compensation until you can actually legally quantify the land and this requires survey and this is a problem that has only recently come to light.”

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