Aug 10, 2015 News
– only a few Timerhi residents to be relocated
After a week of deliberations, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) administration and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have reached a decision to cap further expenditures on the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at US$23.7M, instead of the US$46.8M originally quoted.
In addition, it is understood that work on the only item left out of the deliberations, the CJIA terminal building, is provisioned for with in excess of US$35M. Changes will include renovations and the resizing of the structure. Overall work on the expansion project will recommence in approximately one week’s time.
Making these disclosures to reporters on Saturday was Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, who also revealed that rather than some 2000 residents moving from Timerhi’s northern side, no more than fifteen residents would have to be relocated.
The CJIA project was first initiated by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration and handed to CHEC in 2011. The original components of the expansion was the extension of the runway from the original 7,500 ft to 10,800 ft to accommodate the Boeing 747-400 aircraft; doubling the Aircraft position from four to eight; installing eight Passenger boarding bridges and installing approximately 300 cameras to boost the CCTV system.
However as the new APNU+AFC administration launched an investigation into the project upon assuming office, it was alleged that the figure of US$150M previously stated by the PPP/C was understated and that some expenditure was not included in the original contract.
These additional expenditures, as revealed by the Government in its earlier review, included a new car park for some US$2.7M, equipment in the terminal for US$16M, the upgrade and replacement of navigational aids for US$1.3M, the perimeter fences and security lights for US$565,000, among others.
However, Patterson was adamant that the Government had reached a settlement with CHEC, stating that “after the week’s discussion, the claim -US$46.8M- was capped by half and it cannot exceed US$23.7M.”
“This cap includes all claims to date, and all variations and design phases past and present. We shall now construct the extended runway, the entire 35,000 feet, expand and renovate the existing terminal building. The sums include all navigational aids, relocation of commercial vendors on the road and development of it into a new area.”
Patterson also emphasized that no more than 15 Timerhi North residents may have to be relocated. He also stated that if indeed they are relocated, it will be to an area approximately one mile away that is currently being developed. The relocation, he revealed, will be done by CHEC. Patterson also stated that though the residents had not been consulted formally, this would be done in a short while.
“The 2000 odd households threatened to be removed by the previous administration that will not be done. We have a moral and a social responsibility. Regularization of the area has to be taken up with the Ministry of Communities, but I am guaranteeing that no more than 15 persons may be moved.” The Minister assured.
“All these works described will not exceed the contract sum of US$150M and if approved will be completed in the second quarter of 2017.” Patterson assured.
Since the announcement of the investigation into the CJIA Expansion project it was reported last month that it remained suspended as the Government and CHEC continued to review the “controversial” contract.
According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon when asked about the project, “Cabinet was informed that taxpayers had already spent US$30,000 on the project. When the value of the completed works were checked the Public Infrastructure Ministry experts recognized that not even six percent of the work was completed, despite a larger percent of the project cost being spent.”
“Taking all this into consideration, Patterson was mandated to review the project and have a different model done, one which would see the expansion and extension of the runway satisfying the international standards for large-type aircraft,” the Minister of State had said.
Meanwhile, Patterson expressed hope of releasing the full report of the project in about two weeks, as well as the proposed renovation of the terminal. He also stated that the North departure terminal will be extended northwards, while the arrival terminal to the south will be moved forward. This, according to the Minister will be “more than adequate.”
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