Apr 24, 2018 News
Several ministers of the government on Sunday paid a visit to the site where the Indian Arrival Day monument collapsed last year, at Palmyra, Berbice.
The team which included the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, Minister of Social Cohesion, George Norton, Indian High Commission officials and regional officials, inspected the site and discussed the way forward. During the discussion, a representative from the Indian High Commission stated that the design was “very nice” but the basic soil testing should have been done before construction commenced.
The monument collapsed during its construction stage in April 2017 when the foundation weakened, causing the cylindrical structure to crumble to the ground.
Minister Trotman explained that it was during a visit to India in February 2018, alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that the matter was raised by the foreign Minister of India and the government of India.
“We committed to have this monument completed, and in February the government of India offered to have an engineer, architect and sculptor assigned to the project”, Minister Trotman noted.
He also highlighted that a visit was made to the actual monument that is being kept at the National Stadium, on Saturday.
Trotman announced that the government is hoping for the monument to be completed by the end of 2018 or even an “almost complete” monument, since the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is expected to Guyana during that time.
A cooperation agreement that was signed between the governments of Guyana and India has since been enforced and now being “accepted and activated”, according to the Minister of Public Infrastructure.
Minister Patterson said that the contract and design of the monument was done under the previous government, “all these things were done under Frank (Anthony) so it was just continued. It was at a point when the government changed, so the handing over process was ensued and we don’t know if they had these soil tests done”.
According to the Infrastructure Minister, an engineer was hired by the then-Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, and the project was designed by him.
“When the government changed we took the designs they had.”
He further posited that “.additional groundwork consisting of geotechnical studies (soil test) were executed and revealed that the land on which the monument is earmarked to be completed is on “pagasse, which is old canefield swamp land”.
Patterson added that, the statue itself weighs a whopping 17 tons, “which is quite heavy to put on a swamp area”. While expressing his concerns, he also mentioned that they are currently waiting on the government of India to get things back on track, since all of the necessary documentation that was requested by the Indian government was sent to them, inclusive of the results of the soil test.
Additionally, the Public Infrastructure Minister stressed that it is unfortunate that the monument could not be completed for the upcoming Indian Arrival Day activities on May 5th.
“One of the reasons for coming here is so that we can put a realistic timeline as to when it can be finished. It wouldn’t be available for Arrival Day, but obviously we are working to get the next most significant day between the Government of India and the Government of Guyana,” Patterson assured.
After the unexpected collapse of the base of the monument, Cabinet had made the decision that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure would assume responsibility for oversight of the project.
It was disclosed that the construction of the base represented Phase 2 of the project.
Phase 1 was the construction of the access road – approximately 60 per cent of which has been completed to date by the contractor for this phase – Civil Engineering Works (CEW).
Phase 3 concerned landscaping but works were suspended. BK International was contracted for Phase 3.
It was found that in Phase 1, the budgeted amount was for $43,027,544
The second phase, contracted to Alternate Contracting Enterprise (ACE), was for a budgeted $42,232,239. Only $22,803,000 was paid out.
The internal monument base was to have been an eight-inch thick reinforced concrete wall and not block work in-filled with mortar.
Apr 23, 2021BCB/Dr Puran Singh Educational Trust Fund 2021 Kaieteur News – Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) President Hilbert Foster on Wednesday last urged young players across the County to complete their...
Apr 23, 2021
Apr 23, 2021
Apr 23, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Kaieteur News – From now, way into the future, the March 2020 rigged election will be remembered and discussed. Some... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – As undesirable as it may be, governments of Caribbean countries that are not... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]