The start date for the Amaila Falls road project has been revised from April 12, to April 15. Makeshwar Fip Motilall, Head of Synergy Holdings Inc, has eight weeks to survey the site for road and present a plan.
The contract is for a design and build project. This plan will be examined by a technical team and once approved, the actual construction will begin.
Motilall has already imported four ATV’s and an excavator. The ATVs are being used to take the investigators along the road while Charles Ceres is there to test the base or the road by conducting drilling tests.
Motilall is currently conducting the initial survey and will have to submit in two weeks time the design for the first 25km of roads.
The project includes some 110km of virgin road through the forest as well as 85km of road where trails already exists. According to the agreement signed with NICIL, Motilall must produce a continuous, all-weather road to be built incorporating existing roads where possible and building new ones as needed to accommodate automobile, bus, and heavy truck access from Georgetown to Amaila Falls.
However, the timeframe for the completion of the road seems impractical, says a senior engineer. According to the engineer, completing 110 km or road in eight months (240 days) means constructing some 458.3 metres daily, a tall order if one is to clear virgin forest.
Motilall is also responsible for the construction and supply of a pontoon crossing on each bank of the Essequibo River at or in the vicinity of Butakari and on the Kuribrong River at or in the vicinity of Portage Falls in accordance with the specifications set out in Exhibit C. The pontoon must be capable of carrying 100 tonnes minimum.
The roads (whether new or existing) must also be capable to carry 20 tonnes/axle with the design maximum unit carrying capacity of 100 tonnes. All roads must also be stabilized and capped with a minimum six inches of laterite or similar materials compacted to 95 per cent proctor and suitable for use as the final wear surface.
The tender process used by the National Industrial Commercial Investments Limited allowed for Fip Motilall to secure the US$15 million contract to build the roads for the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project.
He had to ensure that his company produces engineers and equipment to undertake the project.
In essence, anybody could register a company then hire the necessary skills required and successfully bid for a contract such as the Amaila Falls road.
He has submitted a bid which has the curriculum vitae of people who worked on projects of this nature and whose collective experience more than compensated for Fip Motilall’s lack of experience.
The road engineer employed by Motilall is Edward ‘Tiny’ Gonsalves who has worked on many road projects in the past. He worked on the Upper Mazaruni Road Project and the Essequibo Road project.
He however worked with three contractors on the Essequibo Road Project—Technodomi, Paranapanema and Cemco—the first two were fired for failing to complete the road. Gonsalves was the engineer and the failures were laid at his feet.
The project was commissioned under the PNC administration but got underway when the PPP came to office. It was completed in the mid 1990s.
The Request For Proposal was a rather loose document. It did not demand that the bidder have equipment, machinery or experience.
Motilall eventually submitted the lowest bid from among four tenders submitted. The team found that he was a most responsible bidder.
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