Controversy surrounds apartment block development; ‘No record of an EIA’

Tamavua residents sign the petition. Picture: SUPPLIED

There is no confirmed record of an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out at the planned apartment block site at Tamavua, the Department of Environment has clarified.

Responding to queries from this newspaper, the department stated it had checked through their records, however, records of an EIA was not found.

“We can confirm there was a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and an Operational Environment Management Plan (OEMP) approved in 2014 by the then Director of Environment,” the department stated.

“Our records do not show any Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) done.”

Residents in the area, under the Tamavua Action Group, are protesting the development, which was approved in 2014.

In a petition to the authorities, the group stated that planning approval was granted without an EIA.

The letter also stated that the area had a well-documented history of geological instability as it lay directly on an earthquake fault line.

They also called on the Government to halt work at the site until such time that an EIA was conducted, and the safety of the development could be established.

Yesterday, Minister for Lands Filimoni Vosarogo told this newspaper that the geo-tech test had already been done.

“The geo-tech report has been sent to the Suva City Council, that geo-tech has cleared that the extension of the building, as of the front, is OK to go.”

When asked if the development would continue, Mr Vosarogo said he was not the appropriate minister to answer that question and that his ministry was only facilitating the geo-tech aspect of the project.

He directed all additional queries to the Minister for Local Government, Maciu Nalumisa.

Queries regarding this issue were sent to both Mr Nalumisa and Suva City Council CEO Azam Khan through email and Viber messages.

Calls were also made to both individuals, however, a reply was not received by the time this edition went to print.

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