Informal houses built under high voltage power lines a concern
November 17, 2019 12:35 pm
The illegal construction of informal houses under high-voltage power lines is still a major concern for Energy Fiji Limited and the Local Government Ministry.
The Ministry says with the increasing number of informal settlements – many have opted to also build their homes near EFL grids or large transmitters which could prove fatal and disastrous at any given time.
EFL Chief Executive, Hasmukh Patel says informal settlements built in some areas violate their statutory clearances.
Patel says they’ve gone to the extent of issuing notices to people in these settlements whose homes are traversed by power lines.
“In many cases we have actually approached all these people a number of times. We have given them notices that the land actually belongs to EFL because EFL has a way-leave over that land which the power lines traverses especially in Cunningham road area and all that and we have told all these residents that they’ve got very high voltage power lines over those houses and time and again we have told these informal settlers that they’re living in a very hazardous zone.”
Local Government Minister, Premila Kumar says they have also explored ways to deal with such cases.
“So what we have done as ministry of housing is that we have developed a policy that will provide a guideline in terms of how we deal with such cases within informal settlements.”
The Ministry says it has identified all informal settlements around Fiji and have found several issues such as illegal extension of flats and rent being given out in squatter settlements.