Sudhakar warns lessees

Minister for Land and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar. Picture: FT FILE

AGRICULTURE lease holders on State land could face the full brunt of the law if they do not utilise the land for the purpose it was leased under.

Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar said the ministry was cracking down on lessees who abused the system.

“This is something that I have been trying to bring more attention to because this is how some informal settlements were started,” he said.

“When we have an agricultural lease holder who does not use that lease for its intended purpose and instead subdivides his lot into residential lots inviting more people onto their land and creating a new settlement.

“People must understand that subdividing your agriculture land into residential lots is illegal.”

He said some lease holders had been taken to court.

“We are in the process of prosecuting some of them who we have caught subdividing their farm land.

“Some of them will be fined while others will most probably lose their lease.”

He explained that the ministry was also working with the Local Government Ministry in converting informal settlements to leased land.

“If it is on State land then we are working with the relevant authorities to convert this State land to proper leases.

“This is similar to what we have done in Clopcott in Ba and a similar settlement in Nadi.”

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