NEWS

Delay In Korosomo Road Works Affects Logging Operations

“We had to lay off about 80 workers because there was a decline in production and processing of logs”.
16 Apr 2021 10:00
Delay In Korosomo Road Works Affects Logging Operations
Works being carried out at the alternative route for the Korosomo slip on March 16, 2021. Photo: Fiji Roads Authority

Many logging and sawmill businesses in the Northern division are finding it hard to continue with their normal operations.

This was after the Korosomo Hill Lane on the Nabouwalu Road in Macuata sustained major damage during the onslaught of Tropical Cyclones Yasa and Ana.

The slip was cordoned off from all travelling motorists and a new site for the alternative route was chosen after consent from the landowners was obtained.

The alternative route is located one kilometre away from the slip.

Waiqele Sawmill Pte Limited Co-director Feroz Begg said it was an unfortunate time for the company as most of their sales have declined.

Mr Begg said due to the load restriction placed on the Naduri bypass road bridges, they could not transport enough logs to the mill.

He said with the downturn in business, the company was forced into reducing its workforce to one shift.

“We had to lay off about 80 workers because there was a decline in production and processing of logs”.

Nivis Sawmill manager, Vinesh Chand said the weight restrictions imposed on the Naduri bypass road bridges also affected their production.

Mr Chand said they had already closed their log productions three weeks ago.

“We are still employing 15 workers to clean up the site as the transportation of the logs and timber had stopped”.

He said the company was continuing to shoulder the cost of their temporary closure and the wages being paid to their employees.

Fiji Roads Authority acting chief executive officer Kamal Prasad has confirmed that it was expected work on the alternative route will be completed by mid-May.

Work was initially expected to be completed earlier this month.

Mr Prasad said with the current weather patterns experienced in Labasa and the nearby Korosomo area this was not possible.

“Over the last 45 days, only 25 days of dry weather was experienced,” he said.

Mr Prasad said if the weather remained on their side, then work on the fill and pavement for the gravel surface would be completed.

The works on the slip are currently being carried out by the sub-contractor Kashmir Transport, under its FRA maintenance contractor Fairdeal.

Upon completion, it is expected to cater for a three-lane road system.

The works on the slip were expected to cost FRA approximately four million dollars.

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 



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