1 Aug 2006

Sigatoka landowners block roads over commercial use

8:29 am on 1 August 2006

Landowners near Fiji's Coral Coast town of Sigatoka have blocked off two roads over what they are describing as commercial abuse.

Fiji TV reports that the landowners at Cuvu say they did not give permission to the Land Transport Authority, the Fiji Sugar Corporation and a local hotel developer to use their land for commercial purposes.

Hundreds of residents living further along the two roads have also had access to their homes blocked.

A spokesman for the landowners says no one has sought permission for the use of the roads by commercial entities.

They are threatening to block off a sugar cane railway line if their grievances are not addressed.

Meanwhile, a sugar cane railway line blocked near Ba for the last three weeks remains closed after the Fiji Sugar Corporation refused to pay compensation of 53-thousand US dollars.

The company chairman, Charles Walker, says the blockade is illegal and paying compensation would not be fair to those landowners who are not breaking the law.