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Inspection on Malolo development shows damage to environment

February 12, 2019 7:32 am

No foreshore development lease, license or any approval was issued to Freesoul Real Estate Development Limited – responsible for the construction of a resort on Malolo Island.

This has been confirmed by the Lands Ministry.

This was revealed to FBC News by Minister Ashneel Sudhakar following a preliminary investigation conducted by his team over the weekend.

He says the inspection conducted on the construction site over the weekend shows considerable damage to the foreshore area, mangrove and seabed.

“The primary findings are that they developed the land without a concern. In fact, they damaged a lot of marine zone- straight foreshore.”

The Lands Ministry could be the next authority taking the Freesoul Real Estate Development limited to court for their Malolo project.

“There could be legal actions, there could be sanctions that they will never be given a license there because they have blatantly gone ahead with total disregard to the Fijian law, the Fijian communities and the landowners there.”

Sudhakar also confirmed that the Environmental Impact Assessment issued by the Environment Ministry in December last year was only for land based activities and not on the state foreshore.

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy says they’re now awaiting a decision from the DPP.

“Our officers and police are there to ensure that no activity is being done and we have made all submissions to the ODPP and the matter is now with them and that’s how we can go.”

The DPP last week sanctioned charges against the developer under the Environment Management Act for failing to comply with a prohibition notice issued by the Waterways and Environment Ministry last year.

In a statement, the Freesoul Development Limited claims their project is legitimate and beneficial to all tourism stakeholders.

This has been refuted by Dr. Reddy who says these are just lies.