Reddy: Ministry of Waterways should not be blamed

Waterways Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy inspects the drainage system at Soasoa, Labasa, during an earlier visit. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI/FILE

THE Ministry of Waterways should not be blamed for the floods caused by blocked drains and culverts in urban centres.

However, minister responsible Dr Mahendra Reddy said they had given some money to municipal councils to carry out necessary work on the drainage system in towns.
He said while some had attended to the prescribed jobs, other councils needed some fire crackers to get them moving.
He added locals needed to understand that drainage system in urban areas belonged to municipal councils or the Fiji Roads Authority.
In an interview with this newspaper, Dr Reddy said the common perception was that his ministry was responsible for all drainage systems.
“Everyone thinks all drainage systems come under our ministry, but it’s not and doesn’t mean we are not concerned,” Dr Reddy said.
“We are concerned about the drainage systems and that is why we have given some money to the councils to carry out some work on the drainage systems. Some have carried out some work while some are still sitting on it and probably need to light some firecrackers to get them moving,” Dr Reddy said.
He added the ministry was new and by the end of next year, contributing departments would mean business when dealing with drainage issues.
Continuous soil erosion and silt that slips into drainage systems, Dr Reddy said, was a major concern for his team.

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