Delayed contracts: Govt mulls terminating contracts for Conversation Tree, Cemetery Road projects

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill has disclosed that the Guyana Government may be terminating contracts for the construction of the Cemetery Road and possibly Conversation Tree Street projects.
The Minister made this announcement on Tuesday, following inspections of several infrastructural projects, catered for under its 2023 capital work programmes.
During the debate on the 2024 Budget, Minister Edghill disclosed that the deadline for the $475 million Cemetery Road project was extended, and the anticipated completion date was set for March 31, 2024.

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill during the inspection

After inspecting the road on Tuesday, he indicated that little to no progress has been made to fast-track the project to meet the new deadline.
In this regard, the contractor has been instructed to provide the Ministry with a revised work programme to outline the way forward.
Minister Edghill noted that if the deadline was not adhered to, the contract awarded to Avinash Construction and Metal Works Company would be terminated.
“If the work is not completed by the end of March, he will be terminated and removed from the project we will have to put another contractor to fulfil it,” Minister Edghill said.

Works ongoing at Cemetery Road

Meanwhile, during his inspection of the Conversation Tree to Dennis Street project, Minister Edghill was informed Kalco Guyana Incorporated instructed its engineers to halt the operations on the site.
According to the Public Works Minister, he has made several attempts to contact the head of the company and his efforts have been futile.
As a result, he will be forced to make a comprehensive decision on the way forward.
“It is likely that Kalco will not be able to complete that project; we will have to make some decisions and that will happen before the end of today…We will not allow contractors to delay projects without consequences. Government delivery of goods and services to people is priority; it’s paramount that’s why we’re in government. We can’t keep hearing excuses; we are pushing our engineers at the Ministry… to get great work done,” the Minister emphasised.
The contract for the Cemetery Road project was awarded in 2022 and caters for a two-lane carriageway being extended into four lanes. This is expected to significantly alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

Works on the Conversation Tree-to-Dennis Street project

However, the project suffered significant delays owing to heavy rainfall and procurement challenges.
On the other hand, the Conversation Tree to Dennis Street project was awarded in 2022, also with a stipulated deadline of November 5.
This project involves the construction of a four-lane carriageway from the East Coast Highway at Conversation Tree to Delhi Street.
It also includes a double-lane carriageway on the reserve west of Delhi Street for northbound traffic and the building of concrete revetments between the East Coast Demerara Highway and Railway Embankment.

A section of the Conversation Tree/Delhi Street Road widening project

The project was split into two lots: Lot 8 A of the project was executed by S Jagmohan Construction and General Supplies Inc, to the tune of $$1,066, 358,738, while Lot 8 B was awarded to Trinidadian company Kalco Guyana Inc, to the tune of $830,293,458.
Kalco has been behind schedule, with its last progress report hinting at 25 per cent of the work being completed. (G1)