The Fiji Times »Mechanical problems keep truck drivers waiting


Mechanical problems at the Lautoka sugar mill on Tuesday forced truck operators to wait more than 18 hours to unload their cane.

Lautoka’s truck driver Davendra Prasad said he and others from as far away as Sigatoka and Rakiraki who had been there since Tuesday morning finally managed to unload their cane on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s very disappointing because everything stops when we’re stuck here,” he said.

“I come from the Drasa area where we have mechanical harvesters waiting for our return. When the machines are idle, we lose money.

Mr Prasad said truck drivers felt “overlooked” by the Fiji Sugar Corporation when they were subjected to long hours of waiting without being provided with food and water.

“Some of us come to the mill expecting to spend only two or three hours, so we don’t come with a lot of money or food.”

He said they hoped the issues at the plant would be resolved before the grinding season was over.

“It’s not the first time we’ve waited this long. “

FSC chief executive Bhan Pratap Singh said the plant has been operating at a 50 percent crushing rate since 11:50 p.m. Tuesday.

“We had mechanical problems with one of the cane carriers,” he said.

“The plant is expected to be operating at full capacity after 4 p.m. (Wednesday).”

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