Road Safety Concerns for Drivers in Korotari, Labasa

Lorry and tractor drivers in Korotari, Labasa are concerned about their safety due to poorly maintained roads. Vishwa Chand, a sugarcane farmer and lorry driver, emphasized the urgency of addressing the severe road conditions to prevent fatal accidents.

“There are rocks on the road surface that can damage the tires of our lorries,” Chand explained. He noted that runoff water during rainfall often washes away parts of the road, exposing these rocks.

Chand called on the Government to grade the road to mitigate the problem. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Biman Prasad, mentioned in his budget announcement last month that the Government has prioritized improving road infrastructure to help farmers transport their goods to market.

Chand pointed out that the condition of the Korotari road is so severe that he often has to balance his lorry to avoid overloading. Although previous grading efforts were made by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), the problem persists. Chand reiterated that the poor road conditions are preventing sugarcane farmers from harvesting a good amount of cane.

“We want to transport more cane, but the dangerous road conditions make drivers and farmers hesitant,” he said. Chand claimed that earlier requests to the Minister for Sugar, Charan Jeath Singh, went unanswered.

He identified drainage as the main cause of the road’s poor condition, advocating for the development of proper drains in certain parts.

“Some parts of the road lack drains, which affects the road’s condition. We need proper drainage systems,” Chand urged.

The Vunimoli bridge, a key part of the road connecting to Korotari, is also in urgent need of repair.

Chand proposed that the Government and the FRA tar seal three kilometers of road each year in Korotari over the next three to four years to fully address the problem.

“The maintenance cost is high because the road is like rugged terrain we cross daily,” he said. “Don’t wait for someone to die before any work on the road is done.”

Pradeep Lal, a resident and daily commuter, echoed these concerns, adding that despite Korotari being a significant source of raw materials for road works, its own roads are in poor condition.

“Korotari is crucial because it leads to the spot where gravel and stones are sourced for road works elsewhere in the division,” Lal claimed.

Korotari is among the areas in the North where vegetable farmers supply the largest quantities to the Labasa municipal market.

Popular Categories

Latest News

Search the website