Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, has said that the completion date for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport was supposed to be June 30, 2019. That deadline has passed.
During a press conference held by the Alliance for Change at its Kitty office, yesterday, Patterson responded to questions about the renovation of that port.
It has been undergoing renovations for eight years, under three administrations. The completion date has been pushed back many times. Asked when it will end, Patterson said that he meant to have a meeting yesterday to sort out the completion of that project, since the date was supposed to be June 30.
However, he noted that he would like a warranty to be provided for the HVAC [Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning] system.
“When you start an airport, it never closes down,” he stated, explaining the need for the warranty.
“The supplier has a time-period that he runs it before he signs off and they obviously started the commissioning late so it should be handed over to us. It was supposed to be handed over to us next week, or at the end of this week.”
He said, however, that Government will be accepting the HVAC system without the HVAC certificate because there’s a defect liability period.
A defect liability period is a timeframe following practical completion during which a contractor remains liable under the building contract.
Patterson stated that that period has been in force for quite some time.
“So if anything comes up, they’ll have to repair it… but it’s just to wait until we get the [warranty from the] manufacturers of the air conditioning system.”
Patterson had said that when this government assumed office in 2015, it noticed striking issues to the original design of the airport, accepted by the Jagdeo-led People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government. Hence, changes needed to be made, he had stated.
Jagdeo has said he estimates that about $30M has been shaved off of the project, due to major modifications made to the original design.
When Kaieteur News asked the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Public Relations Officer, Krest Cummings, to provide a copy of the design, she said that the release of that design would be subject to approval by officials within the Ministry.
Over a week has passed.
Minister Patterson sang a different tune when asked about the modified design for the airport yesterday. Patterson said, “I specifically made and handed it over in parliament to my opposite member, Shadow Minister Juan Edghill… They always claim they don’t have information so I gave it to him and gave a copy to the Speaker in the hope that whenever [Edghill] raises it,” the Speaker can attest that it has been handed over.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who was also present, added, “It was done in a very public way.”
And all this happened even before Jagdeo began to call for the release of the design, probably unaware that a member of his inner circle had the design.
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