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[*] posted on 15-5-2018 at 08:48 AM
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Through requests from residents of De Willem and the surrounding environs the Ministry of Agriculture constructed a sluice at a cost of $154M but the completion is a source for major concern.More than 14 months after construction started, there is some confusion regarding the stage of the works. Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud, and SRK N?gineering, civil engineering consultants, are reporting that works are substantially complete.Residents on the other hand beg to differ and they are chiding the contractor for substandard and incomplete works,China Jerseys For Sale, while Roopan Ramotar,Wholesale Jerseys China, called Fowl ****,Cheap China Jerseys, the contractor, has said that his contractual obligations to build the $154 M De Willem sluice are complete.To date the sluice is not operational but according to all parties it is ready for use if necessary. But all have agreed that the works on the sluice have ground to a halt.?The reason for the sluice not being commissioned is deliberate and is in keeping with an agreement between the engineering consultants and the contractors ?we want to install groynes to avoid heavy sedimentation but the design will be determined after an assessment of the formation of the sedimentation outside the sluice mouth,? says Minister Persaud.At a press conference yesterday the Minister said that the site has not yet been handed over to his Ministry but as far as he is aware,Wholesale Jerseys China, 80 percent of the monies have been handed over to the contractor.However contractor Ramotar has said that he has received 90 percent of the $154M. The residents find the situation laughable, given what currently exists at the site. Ramotar also said government is keeping his remaining10 percent as retention money that would be paid out when it is satisfied with the scope of work done.While Minister Persaud is claiming that his Ministry does not foresee additional money being spent on the drainage sluice the contractor is insisting that works were halted at the site because his company is awaiting another $7 million.This additional $7 million, he said, would be used to do revetment works that are not part of the original contract.?My contractual obligation for the $154 million sluice is completed and I have met my contractual obligation to the Ministry of Agriculture.? He noted that since the completion of the sluice, the officials at the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority have realised that revetment works need to be done and as such he is now awaiting word from his consultant, who is awaiting permission for the additional $7 million by the Ministry of Finance.?The works can be completed in two weeks but I was advised against handing over the site until the additional works are completed.?After that process is completed,Wholesale Jerseys, the Ministry of Agriculture will then have to issue a ?go ahead? letter to Ramotar?s company for the revetment works to commence.SRK N?gineering, in a letter to Lionel Wordsworth,Supply Cheap Jerseys, the acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority said, ?The sluice was never required to operate during the recent May-June period since, the rains were below normal and the area experienced no significant flood conditions.?SRKN notes that the seaward groynes are incomplete and they are an important component,Authentic NFL Jerseys Cheap, which is the main cause for the delay of the sluice.The groynes require that the sluice be operated for some time to establish the outflow path to assist in the determination of the best location for them. This could be done by year-end when the flow would be established. This would see the final design being completed making allowance for construction to start according to the SRKN while Minister puts the period at three months.In the meantime work on the inlet timber revetment would continue according to SRK N?engineering.While calling on the public, farmers and media to assist in monitoring project sites and reporting to the Deputy Permanent Secretary for finance, Minister Persaud said that securing the site is not his Ministry?s job until it is handed over while the contractor said that the site is guarded by a security at nights only.The Minister accepted fault for not hosting community meetings to better educate and inform the residents of the project, which he has advised the technical staff to do for all projects.On Tuesday when Kaieteur News visited the location, save for some goats having free reign, there was no one manning the site and neither was there any ongoing construction works.
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