Road

‘Cut on FRA’s budget is unrealistic’

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala said the opposition members recommendation for a cut in the budgetary allocation for Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) projects was unrealistic. Minister Bala said a lot has been said on the total budget allocated to the FRA and that the opposition should first know the number of […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

July 4, 2016 12:17 pm

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala said the opposition members recommendation for a cut in the budgetary allocation for Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) projects was unrealistic.

Minister of Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala outside parliament. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
Minister of Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala outside parliament. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

Minister Bala said a lot has been said on the total budget allocated to the FRA and that the opposition should first know the number of bridges, jetties, and kilometers of roads in Fiji.

BALA: “A lot have been said about Fiji Roads Authority the last session and this morning…anybody that wants to talk about FRA, first they should know the number of jetties that we have, the number of Irish crossing we have, the number of bridges we have and the total of kilometers of roads that we have.”

Hon. Bala said the allocation will not be reduced because the roads will be bad in the country.

BALA: “What really sadden me, at one point of time all of you are coming in and asking me about the Vatuwaqa bridge, the Rakiraki bridge, the Kings road, that road and why are you asking for a reduction of the FRA budget. What for?”

Minister Bala said the FRA is allocated with a total budget of $527.2 million to upgrade and maintain roads, bridges, and jetties around Fiji.

BALA: “Fiji Roads Authority was allocated with a total budget of $527.2 million with an increased of the rural road funding of $56.9 million.”

“The ministry also ensures on going maintenance and regular replacement of existing bridges and jetties to avoid this access falling into piece repair and in this regard I welcome the $79.8 million for the maintenance program of this $38.2 million which is allocated to upgrade bridges and to maintain in both the rural and the urban areas. $7.4 million are allocated to renew and to maintain jetties and it’s maintenance.”

Minister Bala said $4.5 million is allocated for urgent repair of nine priority bridges.

BALA: “Many of our bridges are weak as the result of overloading and this will be taken care of the $4.5 million allocated for urgent repair of nine of the priority bridges. Madam speaker, we are working on maintaining and repairing our roads and bridges to last longer.”

Minister Bala said the FRA has made significant improvement since their establishment in 2013 and that they have completed the construction of six new bridges, five jetties and new roads in rural areas.

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