Nadi communities praise law change

Roselyn Lata Kumar with her daughter Vaniya Latchman at their home at Malolo Transmitter in Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A mother of two will now be able to witness a dream her late parents worked for.

Roselyn Lata Kumar, 35, of Malolo Transmitter in Nadi is among those who praised the government for helping them get their land title.

The law Parliament passed last week is the State Lands (Amendment) Act 2022.

Ms Kumar said that at a young age she moved with her family in 2000 from Kavanagasau, Sigatoka to their current home in Nadi.

They rebuilt their lives there, but they lacked one thing: a land title.

“It’s good news, we moved here with my dad and we tried to get the land title, but we were run around in circles,” she said.

“Now there is hope for my kids, I wish dad was here to see that.”

A former hotel worker, Ashok Chand, 55, from Naidovi, outside Nadi, was also

delighted with the commendable news.

Mr. Chand is originally from Masimasi, Tavua and has been living and renting a house in Nadi for 27 years.

He had resided on a quarter-acre lot since 2008.

“It’s a big decision by the government to give the title to people like us,” he said.

“Once sorted, this title will benefit all parties and landowners will receive rates. If the government can speed up this development, we can get a loan from the bank to expand our house. »

Dhirendra Singh, 45, shared similar sentiments. He’s been running around trying to get permanent residency for 15 years.

Mr Singh is originally from Vatusui, Ba, but now calls Naidovi his home.

“The previous owners here are gone, left these arrangements to us. We needed more help from the government and now there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

Other communities living in similar situations are found in Navo, Nasau and Solovi.

The amendment to the State Lands Act 1945 would give the Director of Lands the ability to cancel leases in advance and issue separate leases for those who have lived there for years.

Most state leases stipulated that if the leaseholder wanted to subdivide, sell, or sell portions of the land, he must obtain the director’s consent.

For several decades this had not happened and the Lands Department had not strictly enforced the provision.