Jul 04, 2013 News
Bai Shan Lin has again come under fire from Region Ten Chairman, Sharma Solomon, this time for a breach of faith.
There was an understanding that was entered into between the company and the Region, that concessionary measures would be granted for the company to have its trucks use the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge, to transport laterite from Three Miles on the west bank to Moblissa.
The laterite was to facilitate the rehabilitation of the $40 million farm road that the company’s trucks had significantly damaged, causing untold hardships to residents in the community.
After the agreement had been entered into between the management of Bai Shan Lin and major stakeholders in the Region for Bai Shan Lin to fix the road, tests which were facilitated by the Region, were subsequently carried out at Three Miles, on the Wismar Shore for suitable road building material.
There Bai Shan Lin identified a laterite pit and was granted permission to use it.
“The arrangement with Bai Shan Lin was that we wanted the road at Moblissa to be fixed; we were going to give them all that was necessary to fix that road. We were going to give them access to the laterite pit; we were going to give them the results to show that this was the best material to use,” Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon said.
Solomon said that Bai Shan Lin was clearly excited about the prospect of having access to laterite, which is better material than the loam, a substandard material which they had been using initially, and which was taken from Moblissa.
“The arrangement we had with them and the Linmine Secretariat, to facilitate the fixing of the Moblissa road, was that they were going to take the laterite from the Three Mile area, and we were going to ask the management of the bridge to grant them concession to allow the trucks free access to get to the material.”
The concession was agreed to by the management of the bridge, and the process of transporting the laterite from Three Miles commenced.
But of the 144 truckloads of laterite that was removed from the laterite pit less than ten truck loads made it to Moblissa, Solomon said. The remainder went to Bai Shan Lin’s concession.
“I was at the site on Monday. What was done at the Moblissa Road is a travesty- with less than ten truck loads. It was deliberate, because Bai Shan Lin threw the material in front of the road to give the impression that work has started. It wasn’t done the way they are doing their concession.
Bai Shan Lin is putting grader and roller, and all the necessary road building and earth moving equipment to fix their concession with the material that the Region gave to them under concession; giving up $216,000 in bridge crossing to fix the road at Moblissa.
“Instead, in a level of dishonesty Bai Shan Lin diverted 140 truckloads to their site, while putting four truck loads in front of the Moblissa road, causing further hardship to the community.”
Solomon added that because of the obstruction to the road an elderly woman who was sick and three pregnant women were unable to leave the community on time, because transportation was unable to get them out.
He further stated that the Moblissa Road should have been completed by now, as Bai Shan Lin had done a lot of work on their site, during the ten-day period that they had promised to have the Moblissa Road completed.
He added that the company will have to pay for the 47,000 tonnes of laterite that it has already removed from the Three Mile area and diverted to their own use.
In a correspondence from the CEO of the Linmine Secretariat, Horace James, to both Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon and IMC Chairman Orrin Gordon, James said that the concession that had been granted to Bai Shan Lin, upon request from the region, to allow the company’s trucks to traverse the Mackenzie /Wismar Bridge has been withdrawn as of July 2.
Bai Shan Lin will now have to pay the bridge, he said.
“However, Bai Shan Lin is now requesting that it be granted some more concession to use the Mackenzie/ Wismar Bridge, to transport more laterite from Three Miles in order to fix the Mabura access road”, Solomon said.
“With such a massive investment, which is said will match Bosai’s I am now wondering if this is a sneak peek at Bai Shan Lin’s attitude. I’m wondering what is to come with regard to its corporate and social responsibility.”
Solomon added that he has told the residents of Moblissa that they should go in to Bai Shan Lin’s concession and shut the operations down, if attention is not turned to that road.
In addition, from the more than 500 residents of Moblissa that are being affected by the damaged road, residents of Linden will also be affected as they depend on the community for a lot of its farm produce, which is likely to escalate, because of the hardships facing the farmers there, in getting their produce to market. (Enid Joaquin)
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