Residents living along Queen Elizabeth Drive have started signing a Save-The-Tiri petition in an effort of putting a stop to the destruction of the last significant mangrove forest at the Suva Peninsula.
In a statement released by the creator of the petition, it says the last remaining mangrove forest in Nasese is under threat of being destroyed this year by Tian Lun Investment, who proposes to build a massive multi-use hotel, office and retail complex that will be bigger than any single development project in Suva.
It also says the project site is the only remaining flood basin in which stormwater from Toorak, Flagstaff, Muanikau and Domain passes through to get to the ocean.
It further stated that if this project is approved, the homes and streets of families in Nasese, Nasova and Domain will flood with even a small amount of rain, will create more traffic jams in and out of Suva, intensify water-related health problems and result in costly damage to roads and drains.
The signatories are making an urgent call to rescind the renewal of the five-year development lease issued to Tian Lun Investment Limited and protect the mangroves from destruction, in consultation with traditional qoliqoli owners, issue a Protection Order on the remaining Nasese Mangrove Area and its surrounds for Conservation, Recreational Green Space and Educational Purposes only and halt further development on the Nasese Waters Project until the drainage within the development and its surrounds are rectified by the developer and relevant authorities.
The petitioners also say that our Government and municipality have not responded adequately to the outcry of the Nasese residents who have for the past 12 years faced regular flooding of their homes and streets due to the reclamation of State Tiri (mangroves) by the Nasese Waters development project immediately adjacent to the Tian Lun proposed development site.
They say not only will this proposed project exacerbate the flooding, but it will destroy the natural catchment area of storm water flowing through Leveti Creek from Toorak, Flagstaff, Muanikau, Domain and Nasese areas.
Meanwhile, Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimoni Vosarogo has confirmed earlier that Tian Lun PTE Limited, which has a state land and state tiri land lease for the proposed project along Queen Elizabeth Drive in Suva, has been served with a letter by the Director of Lands highlighting breaches of their Approval Notice of Lease.
Vosarogo has told fijivillage News that attempts to serve the company at their registered office were unsuccessful.
The Approval Notice of Lease expires on the 30th of June 2023.
The Lands Minister says those who obtain leases from the State must understand there are conditions.
He says if the conditions are not being met and nothing has been done to meet the timelines and the time runs out on the lease approval period, the lease ends.
Vosarogo says in the case of Tian Lun lease issued by the previous government, they have not met most if not all the conditions necessary for them to get a proper lease.
The Lands Minister says in this case, they have been informed that the approval notice to lease expires on the 30th of June 2023 and they shouldn't think there is a right of renewal because there is no such thing.
The signing of the Save-The-Tiri petition closes on the 18th of March.
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