Region 6 executives slam NDIA’s takeover of secondary D&I system
The drainage and irrigation (D&I) system which once fell under the purview of the Region Six Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is expected to be taken over by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), but this development is being heavily criticised by the Region 6 executives.
The issue was raised at a recently held Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meeting, and Councillor Zamal Hussain explained that obligation to maintain the drainage systems does not, by law, belong to the National Drainage and Irrigation
Authority, but rather to the Region 6 Administration.
“This was actually a mandate that was given to the Region in 2006: to overlook, allocate, and ensure that these systems are kept to the standard that they should,” Hussain noted.
He pointed out that if the takeover is implemented, there would be need to monitor the equipment and the work it is doing.
Hussain referred to reports which suggested that the two heavy-duty machines which have been deployed to sections of the Region have been engaged in private work. He posited that the proposed new system is a recipe for corruption.
“I was made to understand that the Honourable Minister of State (has) said that it would not be business as usual since the loss of the Local Government Elections on November 12. I feel that this (development) is (intended) to victimise and to undermine the Regional Democratic System of the Local Government System, and it is a deliberate move to deprive families and contractors who were benefiting from these particular contracted works in the region,” Hussain declared.
Adding that this new system would lead to unemployment, the Councillor called for Government to swiftly rethink its decision.
“We have this situation where GuySuCo [Guyana Sugar Corporation] laid off so many thousands of workers, now we see the NDIA putting systems in place to deprive contractors from the Region and out of the Region from getting the necessary jobs. The local economy will suffer if this move is a reality. So I want to urge the RDC to write the Minister, or the subject person, or the CEO of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, to ensure that the proposed system is not imposed,” Hussain urged the House.
Regional Chairman David Armogan had, in a report, also stated that the operators of the machines, although using Government’s fuel, were collecting from residents money for the work they were doing.