Sudhakar: Botanical Garden Exchange with India is a Great Deal
The affordability of land in overseas can be a challenge.
The Minister for Lands explained in Parliament that when getting land from overseas, it is valued at a very high rate.
Therefore when Fiji is given a portion of land in exchange for a land of high value, it is important that Fiji takes the deal, he added.
Sudhakar says this development will bring multiple benefits including opportunity of trade market, promotion of capital city, and trade facilitation.
“The area that is being allocated to the Indian Embassy covers 6467 sqm. And the portion of the land covered by trees and sharps beside the British High Commission’s Residence. It is an unused part of the garden. The area designated currently is for car parks and the rest is to be retained and public access will still be available to the car park,” said Sudhakar.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had agreed with the Government of India for the Fijian Government to allocated the area for the construction and Govt of India to allocate a land parcel to the Fijian Govt in New Delhi to construct a facility for Fiji’s embassy in India.
Sudhakar said government gave the most appropriate and suitable land to the Indian High Comm which will house the embassy, culture center and chancery.
“At the time of the allocation in 2014, that portion of land in New Delhi was valued at USD$55m. Currently it is FJD$110m. The land is situated in Chanakyapuri in New Delhi, the most prime area of New Delhi where other diplomatic missions are allocated. Fiji was fortunate to get this piece of land as no other country was able to secure a block of land in this prime area,” said Sudhakar.
The Botanical Gardens was established in 1881 along the Waimanu Road by Sir John Thurston and was later moved to into its current site in 1913 and eventually renamed Thurston Garden in 1976.
Over the years, this land has been subdivided into various lots.
The first one was for the government house then the Botanical Gardens.
The public service commission building, Fiji Museum and most recent being in 1989, for the British High Commissioner’s residence.
The Suva City Council was approached by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources in 2014 on the possibility of the Council surrendering about 6467sqm of land near the Suva Museum.
This is a portion of the total area of 53 494sqm to allow a chancery to be built by the Indian Government.