By Latoya Giles
BK International loses approximately US$10,000 daily due to a delay caused by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph
Company. BK International was awarded a contract to complete Lot Three of the East Bank Road Project. The multi-million-dollar project was expected to have been completed almost two years ago, but has been stalled.
However, according to Julian Archer, BK International’s Chief Engineer, the blame for the delay must be placed solely at the feet of GT&T. Archer and several other executives from the company took the media on a tour yesterday to explain the situation.
Archer said that the company is faced with two problems, poles and cables from the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company. There are also some obstacles from Guyana Water Inc. According to Archer, they have dispatched numerous letters to these companies.
He said that BK International has had a favourable response from the water company. “GWI has complied, but GTT has not. This hinders the critical activity such as construction of bridges.”
Archer maintained that the company would have to wait until GT&T removes the cables and poles. When pushed further about the “worst case scenario” Archer said that if GT&T does not move its utilities the project would have to be extended. That extension would in turn cost government and taxpayers millions of dollars.
Archer was questioned whether BK International would have to pay any contractor penalty clauses. He replied that once there is a justification with the cables they would not have to pay.
When asked about the reality of BK International seeking the intervention of the court in the matter, Archer said that BK International has not gone down that route since Government has been trying to deal with it.
The person of contact in the government he says is Geoffrey Vaughn. Archer said that based on information he said that the company is waiting on the government for the signing of a contract between them and GT&T to have the poles removed.
When asked about the fact that the poles and cables were there before construction started, but that
BK International went ahead, Archer told the media that his company was working around both the GWI and GTT lines. He said that some of these lines were damaged.
Archer explained that prior to the start of the road construction; Government was in talks with GT&T. He said that BK International knew there was a problem but that it was working along with the anticipation that GT&T would have removed the cable. However, GT&T never promised to remove the cables. The telephone company has since said that it will respond to the charges by BK International today.
Lot Two of the road expansion was awarded to Gaico Construction to the tune of US$5,802,640. However, with the adjustments to the design, the contract may cost an additional US$800,000. In this section the contractor had to transform cane-fields into roadway. The layout for the roadway has been completed. The contractor has begun works to the existing East Bank Demerara Public Road.
Meanwhile, BK International is executing works in Lot Three of the road project. The original contract sum for this section is US$3,444,060. The modifications in this section are costing Government approximately US$800,000.
The cost for the modifications in Lot One is currently unknown.
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