Minister Croal assures Newtown residents of fast-tracking Vlissengen Road pipe project
Minister of Housing and Water, Honourable Collin Croal is assuring residents of Newtown, Kitty that GWI is doing all it can to fast-track works and relieve them of the inconvenience they have been experiencing, caused by pipe laying works.
The Minister along with GWI’s CEO Mr. Shaik Baksh and Director of Projects, Mr. Aubrey Roberts visited the site at Republic, DaSilva and Lamaha Streets on Sunday, May 16 to inspect the status of works carried out.
Minister Croal noted that residents have expressed the discomfort they have been experiencing due to the length of time the project is taking to complete. He emphasized however that the history and initiation of the project is important, since this is what led to the prolonged delay and inconvenience meted out to residents in the project area.
The Housing and Water Minister recalled that the contract for the Vlissengen Road pipe laying project was signed on November 30, 2017 with eight requests for payment by the previous Contractor – Mr. Barnes, totalling $114M. However only 11 percent of works were completed, equivalent to some $39M. As such, this administration inherited the below par works and the challenges surrounding it and the matter is now before the court.
The Minister apologized for the inconveniences caused and thanked residents for their patience to date, adding that upon completion, they will benefit from improved quality of water and level of service, as well as better roads.
Mr. Baksh stated that GWI has stood the expense outside of the contract sum to replace culverts in the area and the utility will be writing to the Town Clerk of City Council to desilt the drains.
Meanwhile, Projects Director, Mr. Roberts now anticipates another 4-6 weeks for the completion of works. The remainder of works include the installation of 4-inch lines along Vlissengen Road, between Garnette and Duncan streets, pressure testing of the pipes, reinstating the roads and the interconnection of lines.
Residents who met with the team during the visit expressed gratitude for the interest shown in seeing the works to completion and welcome the improved service and roads expected at the end of the project.