The Minister for Local Government, Hon. Premila Kumar met with the market vendors and taxi operators in Navua last week. In her deliberations, the Minister explained that the purpose of the visit was twofold-firstly to meet with the two groups, and secondly to identify a suitable location for the market.
“The purpose of my visit today was to meet the market vendors, the taxi operators and to identify a suitable land for a new market for Navua town. Market vendors in Navua are facing a lot of problems.”
“I’ve seen the current market and I can say that the current market is no longer sufficient. We need more space. There are farmers coming from as far as Beqa, Sigatoka and Namosi on Friday and Saturdays to use the current market,” said Hon. Kumar.
The Minister added that due to lack of space, vendors are selling on the roadside. “Some of the vendors are actually selling on the road. They’ve occupied the road. So, in that situation we need to be mindful of the fact that there are pedestrians using the road and for this reason, we will need to clear the road,” Hon. Kumar stated.
The people of Navua also expressed concern that parking spaces in front of the shops were misused where Fijians on from Navua who were working in Suva parked their vehicles for the whole day denying shoppers from using the parking spaces.
The Minister also stated that there were also problems in relation to the parking places for taxi operators in Navua, especially near and around the market. Taxi operators found it difficult to park and wait for their passengers who were buying from the market. There are not enough parking spaces and the loading bay is taken up by the market vendors.
Nevertheless, the Minister reiterated that identifying a good and central location for the Navua market and improving the bus stand, was the driving factor of the visit.
“Having robust discussions on how we can build a market and improve the condition of the bus stand in Navua with relevant stakeholders, is why I’m here today. From our discussions, I can see that there is a need to also draw up a scheme plan for Navua. I don’t think we have a scheme plan for Navua. A scheme plan is very important to identify land use, and based on the plan, we can use the land for that particular purpose” Hon. Kumar stated.