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Lands Minister clarifies embassy land issue

February 15, 2019 12:58 pm
Lands Minister, Ashneel Sudhakar

Lands Minister has today clarified in parliament that the idle land at Lot 2 Botanical Garden in Suva is currently under the control of the state.

This piece of land valued at $1.2m will be used to build an Indian embassy and in exchange, Fiji has been given land in New Delhi worth $110m to build its embassy.

Ashneel Sudhakar says since the land currently sits on State title, the government is doing what it can within its powers.

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The idle land at Lot 2 Botanical Garden in Suva

While responding to Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau on whether consultation was held with the original landowners, Sudhakar highlighted that consultation will be done by the Director of Town and Country Planning as part of the Local Government Act.

Sudhakar also clarified that if the land is a State land then there is no need for consultation at this point in time.

“The issue here is that this land currently sits on state title and state is doing what is within its powers. The rest of it is that consultations will be done with the Director of Town and Country Planning as part of the Local Government Act – the process is there. Now if that is State land – there is no need for consultation at this point in time and I’d like to reiterate that previously the land was allocated for residential purposes there were no such objections this is for a public purpose – this is for a chancery “

He also revealed in parliament today that in 1989, the same portion of land was previously allocated to the British High Commission for a residential purpose.

The Minister says there were no objections at that time.


The idle land at Lot 2 Botanical Garden in Suva

He says for the rest of it – consultations will be done by the Director of Town and Country Planning as part of the Local Government Act.

Sudhakar also clarified that if the land is a State land then there is no need for consultation at this point in time.

He also revealed in parliament today that in 1989, the same portion of land was previously allocated to the British High Commission for a residential purpose.

The Minister says there were no objections at that time.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vishvas Sapkal says India and Fiji are continuously working together to enhance their long term partnership.


Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vishvas Sapkal

Sapkal says as a result – an agreement has been signed to exchange lands where both countries will build their chanceries.

Sapkal says they want the people of both countries to continue benefiting from the close bond.

“And for that both the governments have signed a MOU to give the land plots for building their officers, their chanceries at the respective capital sites. Such MOU was signed in the past. And I am really happy that we are also providing that befitting land of plot to the government of Fiji for building their chancery, building their high commission in Delhi.”

Both governments are completing their legal procedures before the plots will be handed over.

A number of people have started to raise objections on this and are going around signing petitions which says “All of us: Save Suva’s Botanical Gardens”.

People have time until 25th of this month to raise their objection with the Suva City Council.

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