Minister Indar questions lengthy time to repair sea defence breaches at Mahaicony
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar on Friday visited the breached sea defence sites at Content and Dantzig, Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), where he decried the lengthy time that is being taken for the repair works.
During the visit on his second day in office, Minister Indar met with representatives from the two contracting firms, BK International and A&S General Contractors Inc who were tasked with sealing the breached sections of sea defence – a report from the Department of Public Information (DPI) states.
Chief Engineer of BK International, Ganesh Sawh informed the Minister that the 500-metre breach at Content should be sealed within 40 to 41 days. Minister Indar, nonetheless, questioned the lengthy duration of the project, which he reminded has cost millions in losses to farmers along the embankment.
“The country has already seen the kind of damage that the flood has caused to the farmers in the area. Over 2000 farmers have lost their livelihood… What we have to do is try to get this area [or] the sea defence here fixed quickly,” the Minister explained.
He added that this should have been in place since last month.
A $352 million contract was awarded for rip-rap works in November 2019, however, the contractor complained of access to materials. Moreover, $105 million was paid in advance despite the contractor not performing any mobilisation to date.
However, over at the Dantzig to Glaciers Lust area, works are progressing as approximately 50 per cent of the works have been completed.
Meanwhile, A&S General Contractors Inc are nearing completion with works at Prospect. The company was awarded approximately 1.6km of sea defence works back in November, and so far 1.25km has been completed.
Minister Indar stressed the need for the existing breach of 800 metres to be sealed immediately as the violent tides can result in more damage and expenditure.
Accompanying the Minister on the site visit were Chairman of Region Five, Vickchand Ramphal; Regional Vice Chairman, Region Five, Rion Peters; Party Representative, Faizal Jaffarally and engineers from the Ministry of Public Works.
The Regional Chairman, Vickchand Ramphal said: “I am very happy that Minister Indar came to visit the work site here in the Dantzig area…this situation started approximately two years ago and very little was done to bring relief to the farmers and the citizens of this part of the region.”
Meanwhile, the Regional Vice Chairman added: “We are looking forward to this breach being sealed, as urgent as possible, so that our people can go back to their normal means of earning and their normal livelihood which was disrupted as a result of this breach many years ago.”
Party Representative, Faizal Jaffarally also shared: “I want to thank the Honourable Minister for responding very promptly and to be here in this community this morning. I must say I am disappointed in the pace in which this work is going. This work was awarded since November last year, and we expect because of how it affects the residents in this community and the contractor should have made some more effort to ensure this thing is completed.”