KAIETEUR News has again come in for criticism for its content. This time Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, took the local daily newspaper to task for its front page picture, which was published in yesterday’s edition.The photo of a sluice in Diamond/Grove was captioned: “$50M later – more than three years after this National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) contract was awarded, this Diamond/ Grove, EBE, sluice is not operational.”
A peeved subject minister told the Guyana Chronicle that the Kaieteur News has once again lied to the Guyanese people.
“This is a blatant lie. The sluice is working. The first sluice, to the left, is the one we built. The one to the right was an old GuySuCo (Guyana Sugar Corporation) sluice that we rehabilitated,” he said.
According to him, both sluices now provide increased drainage and irrigation capacity to the areas they serve.
“What’s more is that a senior reporter at Kaieteur News knows that this is a lie. It is not a matter of being misinformed. That reporter is well aware that both sluices are functioning,” Dr. Ramsammy said.
The Agriculture Minister bemoaned the misinformation and misleading information carried in the Kaieteur News, which is most often the subject of massive controversy.
Additionally, last night, a statement from the NDIA, responded to the erroneous publication, pointing out several facts which include:
* There was no follow-up justification of the comments in the KN articles, and as such the Authority fails to comprehend the thrust of the newspaper; other than to be mischievous, to misrepresent and to mislead the public
* The Grove/Diamond area was formerly under agriculture production and the Government, through the NDIA, recognised that, with the setting up of this expansive new housing scheme by the Housing Ministry, and would require drainage discharge to meet the drainage requirements of the scheme
* The delay in the completion of the project was a result of the slow pace of the contractor, and the NDIA was forced to terminate the contract. The project was re-tendered in accordance with NPTAB’s strict procurement rules and regulations
* The project was recently completed and has been in operation for more than two (2) months. This can be corroborated by residents and the sluice operators which will denounce the lies peddled by the Kaieteur newspaper
“We are left with no option except to say that your newspaper is lying,” the NDIA asserted.
According to the NDIA, even the total cost of $50M is incorrect, since the total cost is $43M and covers the consultancy cost of $10M, the actual construction cost of $33M – costs that cover more than the one structure depicted.
“It will be appreciated if Kaieteur News would, in future, seek the comments of NDIA before publishing issues relative to the agency,” the Authority said.