Labasa Chamber pushes for infrastructure remodeling

May 21, 2024 2:53 pm

Aerial shot of Labasa Town [File Photo]

The Labasa Chamber of Commerce is seeking government immediate investments to address the infrastructure challenges in Labasa town.

President Vinesh Dayal says that this has been neglected over the years, which also hinders economic growth in the North.

He says one of the major challenges is the need for alternative bypass routes for trucks and heavy machinery to avoid using the Town Bridge and Main Street.

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“There is a study done by FRA a few years ago that must be revisited and considered. Our members and ratepayers are concerned that the short-term solutions and proposal of a bypass road through Labasa town FSC tramline are not viable as it will take away 200 car parking spaces, further affecting their businesses that are already struggling.”

Dayal has also highlighted the need for immediate dredging of the Labasa River to mitigate the risk of flood-prone lives and livelihoods every year and the issue of water and sewerage in Labasa Town.

This, he says has reached capacity and is overflowing in some areas, affecting business developments.

In response, the Ministry of Public Works representative Ratu Marika Holger has highlighted five years of development plans on the North infrastructure.

Ratu Marika states that it includes the bridge replacement program for Labasa and Vulovi bridges as well as the bypass currently in investigations and design phase.

Meanwhile, another major challenge highlighted was the energy crisis in town as Labasa continuously faced unplanned power disruptions and the possibility of becoming a green town.