SUNBIZ

Goundar Offers Free Passage To Kadavu

“I provided free services for Koro for three months following TC Winston, setting a record which I’m prepared to set again for the people of Kadavu. Money is not the issue for me – I have reserves in Canada."
08 Jul 2020 10:04
Goundar Offers Free Passage To Kadavu
Levuka wharf, where Joseph P is expected to expected to dock when it sails the daily Natovi/Levuka/Natovi route. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

A proposed daily shipping service between Natovi and Levuka that was scheduled to commence today has been pushed back by two weeks.

Goundar Shipping was to have launched its Natovi/Levuka/Natovi daily trips today on its newly acquired vessel Joseph P.

However the schedule will proceed on July 18 after the vessel’s official christening.

Director George Goundar said company needed time to repair its other vessels.

Goundar Shipping was expected to launch the Joseph P last Friday (July 3, 2020), in a ceremonial service, as it prepares for the daily trips on the Natovi/Levuka/Natovi route.

Mr Goundar said mechanical glitches and bureaucratic red tape delayed the much anticipated launch of the vessel and its service.

Joseph P will be launched next week in a ceremony officiated by a senior family member of the Goundar family.

Mr Goundar is the third shipping operator emanating out of Levuka, along with Venu Shipping and Patterson Brothers Shipping.

Last respects

On Friday, July 3, 2020, Goundar Shipping turned away passengers who had booked their passage to Lomaiviti.

Mr Goundar said the passengers were headed for a funeral.

“It’s not about the money,” he said.

“It’s not about the loss of revenue.

“It’s about service, our service as public servants.

“In this case, it’s about people denied the right to pay their last respects, because of some technicalities with the authorities.”

SunBiz sent queries to the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji. MSAF said it would respond once it received approval from its executive chairman David Kolitagane.

Mr Kolitagane could not be reached on his telephone.

Mr Goundar alleged MSAF made up the rules as it went along.

“We’re here to serve the public interest, which means giving more options for customers, and consistency in service,” he said.

“If I am accessible all the times, I don’t see why the other stakeholders aren’t.

Kadavu

Goundar Shipping is ready to carry passengers for free to Kadavu.

“Bring it on,” Mr Goundar said.

“FCCC set a guideline which was to be adhered to, but some operators thought to undercut that value.“

“They’d be happy now that I’m willing to cart passengers there for free.”

Mr Goundar is the fourth shipping operator to Kadavu.

“I provided free services for Koro for three months following TC Winston, setting a record which I’m prepared to set again for the people of Kadavu.

“Money is not the issue for me – I have reserves in Canada.

“I’m here to serve the people.”

Patterson Brothers Shipping did not respond to queries sent by SunBiz.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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