Ba is a town in Fiji, 37 kilometres from Lautoka and 62 kilometres from Nadi, inland from the coast of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island. Covering an area of 327 square kilometres, it had a population of 14,596 at the 1996 census. The town is built on the banks of the Ba River, after which it is named. For a long time, Ba was famous for its single lane bridge which caused major traffic problems. The old bridge was washed away in the floods of 1990s and a new bridge built downstream. This resulted in the main highway (King's Road) bypassing Ba Town. Jiaxing City in China is Ba Town's sister city.
Ba is an agricultural centre, populated mostly by Indo-Fijians, which makes it a cultural point for tourists. Sugar cane has long been the mainstay of the local economy, but some manufacturing projects have been established over the past fifteen years. Ba is part of the larger Ba Province, geographically the largest of Fiji's fourteen Provinces.
Ba was incorporated as a Town in 1939, and is governed by a 15-member Town Council, whose members elect a Mayor from among themselves. At the last municipal election held in 2005, 14 of the 15 seats were won by the National Federation Party, with the remaining seat going to an independent candidate. The Mayor was Praveen Bala until the year 2010. Currently,[when?] Ba does not have a Mayor, instead, Ba is looked after by an Administrator, who also looks after other towns.[further explanation needed]
Prominent landmarks include the Rarawai Mill (on the outskirts of the town) and a large mosque near the river in the heart of the town. There is also a giant soccer ball in the heart of the town, which symbolizes that Ba is one of the best soccer teams in Fiji. Ba is also known as "Soccer Crazy Town" for its many wins in the national tournaments like IDC and BOG.[expand acronym]
The town is also the home of some of Fiji's wealthiest families who own some of the country's most successful business houses.
- Sera Whippy (January 27, 2011). "Jiaxing sister city". Fiji Times Online. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
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