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Grace Shipping laments loss, blaming jetty conditions

Grace Shipping laments loss, blaming jetty conditions
GRACE Shipping
September 13
11:00 2017

 

Northern shipping operator, Grace Shipping and Landlords, claims that the deteriorating condition of the Natuvu jetty in Vanua Levu has severely affected their operations.

They operate Taveuni Princess II which services the Natuvu-Taveuni route.

Company chief executive officer and captain Sonya Thakur claimed that business has recently dropped during the rainy weather.

She said her customers now prefer to board larger vessels during rainy days because they feared the current state of the Natuvu jetty.

As a result, it has placed financial constraints on her daily trips.

“During high tide and low tide especially bad weather, with the unsafe jetty, passengers get scared to board. It becomes a big loss for my business because they prefer to get on the bigger vessels. They usually board my vessel because it is smaller in size but faster,” she said.

Ms Thakur said they have contacted the Fiji Roads Authority a few weeks ago about their plight.

The company is the pioneer ferry service provider for 60 years servicing the Natuvu -Taveuni route.

Ms Thakur said her father Latchman Prasad built the Natuvu Jetty to cater for their services 12 years ago.

She said since the establishment of the jetty, they have been paying for its repair and maintenance over the years.

“The last time we repaired the jetty was in March this year and it cost us about $5000, already a heavy price compared to the loss of business resulting from the condition of the jetty,” she said.

“We cannot be repairing this jetty privately and building a new one is every expensive, “Ms Thakur added.

Emailed questions to FRA remained unanswered when this edition went to press.

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