– operators were given half hour training
More than one year after their installation, Minister of Infrastructure, David Patterson has finally admitted that the overpass lifts at five locations along the East Bank of Demerara are faulty and have several issues.
In a statement issued on Monday the Ministry of Public Infrastructure said that the international contracting firm responsible for the installation of overpasses in Guyana has signaled its willingness to rectify the faults encountered within the defects and liability period of the project.
The statement dictated that in addition to the elevators not functioning, the Ministry is aware that water has been accumulating in the bottom of the lifts, although the lifts were marketed by the company as ‘weather resistant’ among other things.
The statement noted that the firm has received reports that a glass pane was shattered on the Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) lift and that there is a lack of ventilation at the other overpasses situated at Diamond, Houston, Eccles and Peter’s Hall, East Bank Demerara.
The Ministry reported that in a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the contracting firm, dated September 27, 2019, the Chief of Works attached to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure highlighted the discomfort being encountered by pedestrians due to these issues.
The Ministry added that the Swedish company was reminded of its obligations to honour a 24-month warranty as well as a year of defects and liability period. The slow response to the Ministry’s call for remedial works to be done is disturbing.
In a subsequent response to the Ministry, dated October 2, 2019 the Manager at Cibes Lift International AB wrote on behalf of the contracting firm to assure that a visit will be arranged for November 2019 to assess the situation.
The Manager wrote, “Since the installation, we have been working in between trying to solve issues…We are keeping a record of all parts and all correspondence concerning these lifts and we are available on email, phone conference and other…
“We will send our Main Technical support and Quality manager to see the lift units. This trip will be done in November 2019. At this trip, we will go through each lift with RBP and preferably a representative from your side.”
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, has indicated that it sincerely regrets the delay in having all lifts at the overpasses fully functional and would like to advise the general public that it will continue the discussions and efforts to ensure that citizens can benefit from this facility as soon as possible.
According to Ministry officials, some US$364,000 was allocated for the Diamond overpass, while US$1M was allocated for those at Houston, Eccles and Peter’s Hall. The project is intended to make crossing easier for pedestrians on the busy EBD Public Road with the number of vehicles increasing significantly on the roadways daily.
The elevators were specially designed to assist the elderly and differently abled in addition to all other users.
Meanwhile, Kaieteur News has been reliably informed that operators manning the lifts at the Demerara Harbour Bridge junction, were only trained for half hour to manage the lifts, which were reported to be complex to handle.
At present, operators are working two eight-hour shifts (6 am-2pm and 2pm-10 pm), are said to be earning in the excess of $30,000 per fortnight. This publication has received reports that just a few days ago, one of the lifts at the Harbour Bridge junction became dysfunctional for over four days, and was only repaired and made functional on Monday last.
On a previous occasion, one of the lifts at this location had shut down locking an operator and a few passengers inside for over a hour. Yesterday an inspection of all elevators revealed that persons were piling garbage on the concrete foundation of the Eccles lifts, which has now become a vending site for persons selling dog food.
At the Diamond lifts, it was discovered that the drug addicts have made the area just outside the lift their abode, and the concrete foundation was littered in several areas with human faeces.
The installation of overpasses and lifts were completed on June 18, last year and were expected to be fully functional in a week, according to officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure.
At the Diamond lifts, the paint was also peeling from the walls of a concrete wall in several places, while sections of the steel framework, look rather rusty and discoloured.
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