By Samisoni Pareti
We have the lease to construct an access road.
That’s the word from a Fijian Holding subsidiary, which a landowning unit in a village in Tailevu had accused of building the road without their consent.
Village elder Sakiusa Waqa had also told IB Online that the company, Standard Concrete had caused a lot of damage to the land’s fauna and flora.
“We have actually leased the land on which the access road we are building will run,” said Mosese Volavola, CEO of Basic Industries, owner of Standard Concrete.
“Therefore this access road will be a private road, out of bounds to the general public. It will only be used by us for our extraction operations and by the landowners to access their plantations as per the conditions of our TLTB (Taukei Land Trust Board) lease agreement.”
He confirmed though the land in question was the subject of a recent court case as reported yesterday by IB Online.
But Volavola said matters raised in that court action “has been addressed by TLTB, who was also a defendant in the case.”
“We only resumed work at the site you are referring to at Sawakasa, Tailevu after we received our new lease agreement from the TLTB over the site.
“Earlier this week police at Korovou had stopped us at the site but then allowed us to resume work the following day after they had received verification from TLTB.”
IB Online had sought comments from the Land Trust Board, and its Deputy General Manager Solomoni Nata has promised a response.
At the heart of the dispute is the licence to extract sand and gravel on Wailiko River inland from the coastal village of Dakuinuku, near Ratu Kadavulevu School.
Standard Concrete said its got majority of the landowners’ approval to construct the road as well as to mine the river of sand and gravel, materials needed for its quarry and concrete making business.