Oct 17, 2016 News
– paid, given more contracts
Residents of Baracara, some 65 miles up the Canje River, are feeling cheated and used by the Regional Administration and the respective Government agencies.
They are accusing the authorities of trying to foist substandard work on them. But they are prepared to carry their predicament to President David Granger.
Over the years the community has been neglected by the previous administration and they are of the opinion that the same thing is happening all over again.
Their latest troubles are being compounded by the fact that a contractor, Mark Gupta, who was contracted by the Regional Administration of Region 6 to do revetment work, allegedly did substandard work.
He is reportedly now refusing to do corrective work after being ordered to do so. Several residents had protested about the shoddy work and refused to sign documents to clear the way for him to be paid. According to contractual arrangements, residents in the area have to sign the relevant documents which indicated that they are satisfied with the work before the contractor could be paid.
However, according to residents, the man was paid and given a substantial amount of new contracts by the said Regional Administration.
The cost of the work is in the vicinity of $7.1M.
They had staged a protest which brought the work to a halt. But they said that on the advice of the Regional Engineer the contractor was told to resume work.
After continuing to show disapproval, a team that included Senior Superintendent of Works, Ruhullah Ali, Works Committee member Mr. Erwin Abdullah, contractor Mark Gupta and some members of the media visited the area.
During inspection and discussions with residents, it was observed that the work was substandard and needed to be rectified.
Among complaints was the issue that concrete walkways which were in existence for years were destroyed and not replaced. The contractor, instead of fetching dirt to fill up the revetment, allegedly used a bulldozer to level the area, thus leaving a muddy basin in front of a school.
The contractor was ordered to return and fix the problems.
Another disappointment was that rather than hiring residents, workers from out of the community were brought in to do the work.
Headmistress Kim Sampson and Chairman of the Community Development Council, Marshall Thompson, among other residents stated that they were never consulted before the works commenced.
It was claimed that the contractor only visited the area when they had stopped the work and again when he showed up with a document for them to sign, stating that the work was satisfactorily done in order for him to be paid.
Now the resident said that the situation has worsened with the revetment giving away and caving in. According to one resident, he, along with Cyril Amsterdam, the medic Carl Amsterdam and CDC chairman Marshall Thompson, visited the site after it rained for a few hours. Amsterdam stated that during the rain the area started to cave in. He said also that the mud from the area was pouring through the revetment as the water runs off into the river.
They also claimed that some children who ventured to walk in the area sank in the mud and had to be pulled out.
Amsterdam said that they are considering stopping children from walking in that area and cutting the fence between the school and the Health center in order to avert a disaster.
They are calling for a full investigation into the entire scenario.
The residents said they are prepared to take the matter up with the President, who is expected to visit the area shortly.
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