Ministry promises to deal condignly with contractor
The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development has already assigned personnel to inspect the works of one road contractor in Diamond who came under fire for ‘shoddy’ work.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Nigel Dharamlall, the Ministry has an open policy in matters of this nature. He said, “We are open to complaints and do our best to address them as quickly as possible.” Dharamlall noted that he spoke to Fazal Ishak, the Vice Chairman of the Diamond Block 1&2 Community Development Council last week, and later in the same week an inspector was assigned to investigate Ishak’s claims. He notes that Ishak did bring his concerns to the attention of the Ministry, and when asked to submit them in writing to provide to the Ministry, he readily complied. The Permanent Secretary told this newspaper, however, that there were more pressing matters which required the Ministry’s attention, and as such the investigation was relegated to a later date.
Dharamlall said that the Ministry will deal condignly with the matter, adding that if the works are inspected and are found to be deficient in meeting the contract stipulations then that contractor will be dealt with accordingly. He noted that despite the fact that the contracts are administered by the regional bodies and not the Ministry itself, members of the public should insist that they get their money’s worth in these matters.
Asked if the works had undergone some sort of final inspection by a project engineer, Dharamlall said that he was unsure if the works had reached that stage of completion as yet. It is therefore unclear if the contractor is in default or if the works passed the muster of an engineer as well.
Ishak told this publication that in his complaint, it was set out in the Bill of Quantities that the contractor must square potholes and excavate roadways to an average of nine inches thick and dispose of unwanted material as directed by the Engineer. These were only some of the tasks required of the contractor however; he also needed to supply, cut, trim, and shape, and compact clay on shoulders as directed by the Engineer and dispose of excess clay off site. The contractor is also supposed to supply, place, shape and compact white sand/sand clay 93 thick (40:60 mix) to excavated spots as well as supply and spread prime coat at 0.22 gal/syd (RC250) and applying 13 thick white sand.
According to Ishak, he stated in his complaint that none of these requirements were met. He informed the Permanent Secretary that the contractor only scraped the old road, and at no time did the contractor excavate the road to the specified 93 inches. It was pointed out, also, that at no time did the contractor supply and compact clay on the shoulders of the roadway.
“All that the contractor did was to use a Bobcat and scrape the shoulders and sell the material…at no time, did he supply white sand at 40:60 mixed to the excavated spot.
It was pointed out to the PS also that at no time did the contractor supply or spread prime coat R.C.20 and apply one inch white sand. When questioned, the contractor did not explain why he did not apply the white sand. Instead, the contractor was more interested in how the CDC Vice Chairman came into possession of the contract documents, Ishak said.
Ishak stated that when he measured the width of the roadway it was 10ft 83 . The width was supposed to be 12 feet. He added that when this was pointed out to the contractor he said he would widen it. However, he just placed some chip seal. The contractor has apparently worked on some 716 feet of roadway, “and it already start to break up.” It was pointed out that some 102ft of roadway was not done to specification. The contractor only patched the holes.