By Gary Eleazar
The very company that overlooked Makeshwar ‘Fip’ Motilall’s bungled Amaila Falls Road project has now been tasked with continued supervision of the other contractors who will complete the critical roadway.
The company, SRKN Gineering headed by Dr. Ravi Narine, was awarded ‘Supervisory Oversight’ of the US$15.4M Amaila Falls Road which was being undertaken by Motilall’s company, Synergy Holdings Inc.
Dr. Narine’s contract has now been extended to September of this year.
Dr. Narine’s company will also prepare the remaining road designs for the controversial project, something that Motilall had been tasked with.
The administration had reported that Fip Motilall’s Synergy Holdings Inc never submitted the remaining designs which were included in his lump sum “design and build” contract.
But this publication was reliably informed that the engineer, who Motilall had secured out of Florida during the latter days of the contract, had completed the designs for Synergy Holdings Inc.
But the engineer reportedly left the country with the designs after Motilall failed to pay him some US$12,000.
Dr. Narine’s company has also now been contracted to provide the Engineer’s Estimate for the remaining sections of the road.
It was last Tuesday that bids were opened for the completion of one section of the road when it was also unveiled that SRKN prepared the Engineer’s Estimate for that project to the tune of some $979M.
Dr. Narine was also tasked with responsibility for approving payments to Makeswhar ‘Fip’ Motilall upon completion of allotted sections.
Many believe that Narine’s company, SRKN, shares the blame for the bungling of the project.
Motilall had his US$15.4M contract terminated in January last for failing to secure a Performance Bond among other shortfalls, including missing the deadlines on three occasions.
The administration has already expended several million US dollars on the project including two advances to Synergy Holdings Inc for which Motilall used to buy equipment to begin building the road.
The administration has since moved to the courts to recover over US$4.5M from Synergy Holdings as a result of the shortfalls.
Action has also been initiated to recover the US$1.5M performance Bond held by Hand in Hand.
There is however the bone of contention over SRKN Gineering remaining with oversight for the project since his $63M contract remains in force and has been extended to September.
This publication was told that fees for the design of the road were embedded in the ‘lump-sum’ contract that ‘Fip’ was awarded.
Kaieteur News was told that SRKN has now been charged with designing the roads as an included provision in the contract already awarded.
Head of State, Donald Ramotar, had ordered the release of several documents which the media, political opposition and other stakeholders had been calling for including the contract handed to Dr. Narine.
That contract document had illustrated that Dr. Narine was presiding as consultant over and throughout the failings of Motilall even though the government could have terminated this arrangement which cost Guyana an additional $63.5M.
This revelation had caused prominent local Attorney-at-Law Vic Puran to offer to prosecute Dr. Narine (pro bono) for ‘collecting money under false pretence.”
Puran argued that Dr. Narine presented himself and company as being capable of undertaking the task at hand when this turned out to be far from true.
When the documents were made public it was revealed that government had at its disposal a safeguard mechanism which was never invoked. This was in the form of a clause that provided for termination of the contract at the sole discretion “and for any reason whatsoever” by the client (government).
Dr. Narine presented to NICIL a financial proposal for the project he was vying for and this proposal was also supplemented with an additional proposal.
In the initial proposal, there was a provision for $6M to purchase a duty free, double-cab, diesel engine, 4WD vehicle, along with another sum of $350,000 for associated costs such as insurance and licence among others.
There was an additional provision of $250,000 for the purchase of GPS tracking equipment bringing the total provision for Dr. Narine’s duty free vehicle for the project to $6.6M. This was also submitted for Cabinet’s approval.
Another $12M was also submitted in the proposal as payment for a five-man team consisting of Dr. Narine, the project manager, a roads engineer John Lewis, an environmentalist, Hemwantie Tiwari-Singh, surveyor Neville Thorne and a driver.
Dr. Narine was set to receive $1.650M for 30 days of work and the engineer $3.6M for 60 days of work.
That additional financial proposal submitted by Dr. Narine also catered for an additional $4M to purchase a duty free vehicle to be used on the project along with financial provisions for associated costs such as insurance.
Both proposals for the consultancy project (which was subsequently approved) also catered for meals and hotel fees while in Mahdia, Mabura Hills and several other locations along the way.
Hotel fees were also catered for the crew while they travelled from Mona Falls to Amaila Falls.
There are reports that Motilall’s failure had even forced Dr. Narine of SRKN to attempt to take over management of the project in full.
Motilall has since denied that SRKN was forced to take over management of the project but rather said that he only assisted.
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