Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, according to GINA, on August 14 requested that his engineers suspend M&B’s contract until the contractor repairs a two – mile stretch of road in Maria’s Pleasure, Wakenaam. The trucks used to transport the boulders have damaged the road –impeding the free flow of movement in and out of the community.
“I was in the area yesterday (Wednesday) and many residents bemoaned the fact that they really cannot use the road. It is evident that they traverse it with great difficulty,” Minister Benn said.
The Minister further stated that the contractor, Mahendranauth Oodit, was warned before about using heavily loaded trucks on the road. The company commenced the construction of Rip Rap Sea Defence on January 16.
“They were told to use lighter loads in transporting materials between stockpiles, and despite several engagements with the Ministry’s sea defence engineers they blatantly continued,” the Works Minister disclosed.
Six weeks ago, Minister Benn visited the island where frustrated residents had begun to complain about the state of the road.
“Now they have to repair it immediately. The contract will remain suspended until the road is fixed. The residents deserve that!” the Minister declared.
The contract is worth $96.6M, and Minister Benn revealed that the level of damage to the road “may exceed the monies that were allocated for road maintenance in the contract.”
Meanwhile, a $126.8M Toolsie Persaud Quarries Inc. contract to erect Rip Rap sea defences at Cane Garden, Leguan has been terminated for non-performance. The order to commence work was issued since October 2012 for a project duration of eight months.
“The company’s negligence resulted in more damage to the area. And it is something we could not condone,” Minister Benn said.
According to him, the Ministry will not accept the cost for additional works due to negligent collateral damage done by contractors.
The Ministry has since taken over the Leguan sea defence work.