Sunday, January 13, 2013

New gigantic Moto Bridge in Ba - a long awaited relief for rural Ba population


The dreamful Moto bridge: The reality that is shaping as an icon of Ba

After spending last two weeks in Ba, Fiji Pundit is delighted to bring you stories and pictures that our Indo-Fijian Diaspora spread around the world do not get an opportunity to see or read in normal media.

The existing icon of Ba Town- soccer ball for a soccer -crazy town
I found Fiji very hot and that was also reflected in the warmth of people I have left behind some eight years ago. But I do get in touch with my country-yes my country, as I am a dual Fiji-Kiwi citizen and a registered voter. And if any Indian doubts my Indianness, I also hold Person of Indian origin (PIO) passport and am therefore an Indian citizen as well. So I have the best of three worlds.

The cyclone-damaged Govind Park Stadium at Ba
Now to Ba – thankfully the fury of recent cyclone was felt in Ba, but we were spared the floods that had devastated Ba in January of 2012. Despite the criticism of the current government by democracy-hugging has-been politicians and academics, Fiji was very proactive in the last cyclone (Cyclone Evans) when evacuation centres were opened up and operating well before the disaster stuck. Thankfully, no lives were lost, unlike Samoa, a staunch critic of Fiji government but their democracy could not make them as proactive and prepared as military-led Fiji government which had set out security measures well in advance.
The rural icon of a horse and a farmer with yoked bullocks as you enter Ba Town from Kings Road
As you hit Ba Town from Lautoka, and on the junction of Kings Road to Tavua, at the intersection just after the bridge from Lautoka, the icon of Ba -a farming community with bullocks and horses, greets you.

The towering Moto bridge , nearing  completion
You drive back on Moto/Toge/Nukuloa/Balevuto route past Vatulaulau and Nasolo settlements; you will arrive at the notorious bridge that has been a major headache for the rich salad bowl of Ba. Moto Bridge, near Moto Sanatan School is the main link for areas beyond to Vatusui, Nacaci, Toge, Balevuto, Babriban and rest of Moto area. This bridge was washed away in January 2012 floods, causing major transportation problem for this populous area.

Temporary low bridge on the right dwarfed  by the Titanic huge structure that replaces the troublesome old bridge.
This has been a problem for a long time and no government was able to tackle this problem. Thanks to Bainimarama Government, this bridge, through Chinese construction help and local support has taken shape now and developed into a Titanic non-destructible structure, towering very tall over the current temporary access far below the tall bridge.
When Fiji Pundit visited the bridge last week (10 January, 2012), much of the work had already been done and the upcoming icon of Ba had already taken shape. The structure seemed as strong as the resolute of the current government to take development to rural sectors to its people.

The new Moto Bridge being completed may turn out to be the new icon for this rural community in Ba
Indeed the people living in this main feeder to Ba town-many of our people spread around the world - in NZ, Australia, Canada and USA will be overjoyed to have this preview of the bridge. Hope those reading this can share this link to their relatives overseas- so they may have a nostalgic doze of what is happening in their Fiji, especially home town and village. Keep reading Fiji Pundit for what you do not read or see elsewhere – your Fiji Pundit blogsite that gives a new meaning to development journalism and social media.

The towering structure that now will be able to withstand big floods in Moto.

THAKUR RANJIT SINGH [Photos and story]