After 7 years; 3 administrations:
Seven years has passed and a third administration come to power but the Brickdam police lock-ups are still under repairs.
The upgrade of what was once deemed the biggest and most feared lock-ups in Georgetown begun in 2013 under the Donald Ramotar-led People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration.
Yesterday, during a telephone conversation with a top police official, Kaieteur News was informed that the lock-ups are still not in use.
The official said that works are currently ongoing. He stated, however, that he does not know what kinds of works are being carried out.
Nevertheless, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, informed this newspaper late yesterday, that the works are almost complete.
He explained that there are some minor modifications that are being made to ensure better air flow into the cells. The minister told Kaieteur News that his government had wanted to commission the lock-ups last week but the contractor had asked for a little bit more time to wrap up.
Hopefully, said Benn, the works will be fine-tuned over the next two days and most likely the lock-ups will be commissioned this coming Wednesday.
Police ranks are eager for the new lock-ups to be commissioned soon.
High-ranking officers have said that over the years, transporting prisoners from Georgetown to smaller police lock-ups across the country consumes time and strain police financial resources.
As these officers are preparing to welcome the new lock-ups, it is unclear how much money was actually spent on the seven-year-long rehabilitation and upgrade.
Kaieteur News had reported that former Home Affairs Minister under the previous PPP/C government, Clement Rohee, had estimated the cost to be in excess of some $50M.
Work had started but subsequently stalled when the PPP/C lost power in 2015.
In 2016 the new administration, A Partnership For National Unity +Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) detailed that major corrective works had to be done because of design flaws.
The following year APNU + AFC announced that some $20M more had to be injected but since then there was little word.
Plans were then made to rehabilitate a number of police stations including Brickdam Police Station. Some $700M (US$3.3M) was allocated for these rehabilitative works.
A tendering process was subsequently held in early July 2019 for the contract of rebuilding the Brickdam Police Station.
Commander of Region Four ‘A’ has since confirmed that these works are in progress.
GPF had also announced, yesterday, that the Parika Police Station will be demolished on Tuesday, September, 08, for reconstruction.
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