Diamond Housing Scheme roads…

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CH&PA engineer explains delay, defends contractors
CONTRACTORS are working around the clock to ensure that the rehabilitation and upgrading of community roads in Diamond Housing Scheme, on the East Bank of Demerara, are completed by the end of September.
Senior Engineer at the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Mr. Fazal Wahab, gave this assurance during an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, during which he sought to address the concerns raised in a Saturday, August 27 Kaieteur News article, headlined: ‘Three months past deadline, residents still suffering’.
He said the contracts for the upgrading works in Section ‘A’ Diamond were awarded in two parts, to Romell Jagroop General Construction Services and Gaico Construction Incorporated, with a completion time of three months.
Alluding to the scope of the award, he explained: “Works were to be carried out on the community roads from First to Sixth Streets with the start date of February 17 and an intended completion of April 19. The portion that is being done by Gaico Construction is substantially completed and is now 95 per cent done. The only thing that remains for Romell Jagroop to complete is Sixth Street.”
About the delay in the completion, Wahab said that was due to incessant rainy weather experienced in March and the fact that the contractor went outside the scope of works, in addition to the shortage of asphalt.
“The asphalt work on the last road was also delayed due to problems with the supply of asphalt. If this was not so, then the project would have been completed sooner but the plant itself had some mechanical problems,” the engineer stated.
In relation to claims that residents were unable to access a copy of the specifications for the job, as was promised by Minister of Housing and Water, Mr. Irfaan Ali, Wahab said the document was left with the Area Representative, Mr. Ron Robinson and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council  (NDC).
“I cannot say why the residents did not get access to it but it is available,” Wahab maintained.
In addition, he addressed allegations that the contractors are not fulfilling their contracts.
“Residents made claims that we were supposed to use a material called crusher run on the road. Our design does not have this material, so the contractor will not use it. Added to this, for First Street, the design caters for a width of 13 feet and it was done to 13 feet four inches, so it is not the case that the contractor is doing less than for what he is paid,” Wahab stated.
In terms of asphaltic work, he said the contract documents specify one and a half inches thick asphalt to be used, not two inches.
Wahab emphasised that the agreement does not cater for the upgrading of all of the roads in the scheme. Rather it is for the completion of asphaltic as well as maintenance works. Some roads were completely rehabilitated while others were patched.
He confirmed that the field staff of the Housing Ministry would visit the area on a daily basis or when possible, to monitor the progress of works and ensure that everything is being done to specifications. Additionally, an engineer has also been assigned to supervise the works carried out.