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—for failing to change aged transmission lines, overpayment
The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has instituted legal proceedings against LGS Barns General Building Construction and Civil Engineering for failing to execute a multi-million dollar contract of replacing aged transmission lines in the Bel Air Park area.
Minister of Housing and Water, Colin Croal, MP, at the commissioning of Republic Street, Bel Air on Friday, revealed that the company was contracted in November 2017 to replace 2,000 meters of GWI’s transmission lines in Bel Air Park, at a cost of $108 million. The sum of the four-month contract was subsequently revised to $123 million.
However, three years later in 2020, the company failed to complete the work but was paid handsomely in eight tranches. Minister Croal confirmed that the contractor received $114, 128, 727, which represents 93 per cent of the total contract sum. However, the company only laid 225 meters of new transmission lines, completing a mere 11.25 per cent of the work by June 2020. Though the value of the 11.25 per cent of works is pegged at $39, 406, 000, some $87,921,215 has been overpaid to the company by the GWI. As such, GWI is seeking to reclaim the cash.
“So, GWI has therefore instituted legal proceedings to recover the overpayment of the $87 million and for the contractor to also hand over the additional materials that were procured. That is now engaging the court,” Minister Croal stated.
To begin the replacement of the transmission lines, LGS Barns had to excavate parts of Republic Street. However, after entering office, the PPP/C Government did not wait to recover the monies from the company, as persons were suffering from the deplorable road. In December 2020, GWI handed out a $91 million contract for the transmission lines to be replaced. The eight-month contract that ended in August, saw 710 meters of 22 inches HDP transmission lines being earthed. The water company also took part in beginning the process of repairing the street. “Another contract had to be awarded and that was done to the sum of $28, 628, 000 for the road works to bring it up to a level that is called crusher run.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Works, through the special Works Group, completed Republic Street and repair several other streets in the area, at a cost of $19.5 million, 30 per cent cheaper that the cost of hiring a private contractor. Minister Edghill noted that despite there was gross mismanagement, negligence and corruption in the initial contract to replace the GWI transmission lines, his government must bring relief to suffering Guyanese. “In every NDC, in every township, in every region, we are improving the lives of people, we are improving the roads,” he said. He also urged businessmen with heavy -duty machinery to desist from driving on neighbourhood roads.
Resident, Ms. Samantha Hollingsworth thanked the government for repairing the roads. She said, “thank you for your dedication towards cleaning and renovating the roads…I mean excellent work. It is a joy for us.” Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud, MP also attended the commissioning of Republic Street. The government continues to maintain existing roads and expand the road network across the country, in line with its mantra of better connectivity. (DPI)