The iTaukei Land Trust Board CEO Tevita Kuruvakadua says that although the Savura Dam lease was issued 52 years ago, the annual lease payment has been reviewed from $2,643 previously to the current annual rate of $120,000.
He says they are also working with the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Forests to verify whether there was any compensation payment made with regards to the Suva Water Supply Catchment Area located in Savura in Colo-i-Suva.
Kuruvakadua says the issue of compensation claimed by the landowners needs to be clarified further with the Ministry of Lands.
The leased land which covers a total land area of 100.8 hectares is owned by five landowning units including Mataqali Solia (Navatuvula), Mataqali Rokotarotaro, Mataqali Valebure, Mataqali Daunivurevure and Mataqali Naisagavaki.
The iTaukei Land Trust Board confirms that a special water catchment lease was issued to the Government in 1967.
Mataqali Valebure is currently questioning whether there was compensation paid to them for the standing trees since the beginning of the lease.
Some of the members of the mataqali in Colo‑i‑Suva tried to close the dam last Saturday following their attempts to get compensation for the trees on the leased land.