River dredging works start

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy. Picture: ANISH CHAND/FILE

The Ministry of Waterways last week commissioned emergency dredging works of the Nakauvadra River in Rakiraki in a deal that will see the removal of all the soil by the contractor without Government having to pay for the works.

Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy described this as a private-public partnership.

“We are looking at undertaking close to $300 million worth of projects through private-public partnership and therefore, save government money.

“Under the arrangement, Rattan Civil Works will remove 6000 cubic metres of silt from the river and will keep it.

“In this model, we undertake all the works such as environmental impact assessments, obtaining fishing rights waiver and then the private sector desilts and keeps the material.”

The dredging will be conducted along 2.5km of the river and will take two weeks.

‘The day I heard this place was flooded again, I said, no, this can’t be. We have so much work. “I want the community members to understand that we continue to protect the Rakiraki community.”

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