Specialty Hospital work over voted sum –opposition

-Ramjattan to step up efforts as Indian election concluded

Work on the Specialty Hospital – to be funded by an Indian line of credit – has gone beyond the sum fortuitously voted for it last year, the opposition has charged, and the Alliance for Change is to up its efforts against the project following the conclusion of India’s general election.

“We now know that with the Modi government (Prime Minister elect Narenda Modi) they are going to stop that contract because (Indian contractor) Surendra doesn’t know to build a building much less a specialty hospital,” Leader of the AFC Khemraj Ramjattan told Stabroek News yesterday.

“We are going to be submitting questions to our parliament to find out where money is coming from for all that work that is going on up there because that is not $35M in works …it is coming from (government holding company) NICIL or someplace unknown,” he charged.

Works being undertaken at the site last month.
Works being undertaken at the site last month.

During this year’s consideration of the budget estimates the opposition voted down a $1.3 billion allocation for the health sector that included $910M financing for the specialty hospital at Turkeyen. The opposition had also vetoed last’s year’s proposals of $1.25B.

Main opposition, APNU had pointed to the government’s lack of dialogue on the opposition’s concerns that the formulation of the deal was not transparent, while the AFC pointed out that Surendra Engineering was responsible for defects at the Enmore Sugar Packaging Plant and also that it had never before built a hospital before.

However, at the December 12, 2013 sitting of the National Assembly, government managed to secure approval of $34.4M for the project owing to the absence of APNU member Volda Lawrence during the vote.

This paved the way for foundation works for the hospital to commence in January this year, for which BK International was hired by Surendra Engineering. However, the works appear to have gone much further.

Stabroek News has made several visits to the site but workers have referred all questions to Surendra Engineering. However to date calls to Surendra’s representative in Guyana have yielded no answers.

Both Ramjattan and APNU’s Shadow Finance Minister Carl Greenidge told Stabroek News yesterday that government will have to answer questions on where monies for additional works at the site was coming from since it was obvious that the $34M had long been exhausted.

“I think this is why this government is hurrying to complete works to say ‘Hey look how much work has been done. We spent so much let it go on’ but no they will have to answer,” Ramjattan stressed.

“Where the money is coming from I don’t know but NICIL has big monies, lotto funds get monies there are places they taking that money from,” he added.

He informed that very soon he will be once again speaking with Indian Parliamentarian, former cricketer, Kirti Azad on what would be the government’s next move. Azad is a MP for the Bharatiya Janata Party which won India’s elections and is expected to be retained.

“The new government (will be) looking at a lot of corruption issues and among them is this specialty hospital project and several others in other countries …they are going to take that to their parliament to ensure that their taxpayers’ money are not corruptly spent and I want the same here,” said the AFC leader.

Meanwhile, Greenidge said that his party’s primary reason for rejecting the project was that it had too many corruption issues attached to it.

He said that APNU wants to reiterate to the populace that they would not be beneficiaries of the project since if they did not have the large sums to pay they would only be treated there at the discretion of the hospital’s foreign managers.

Further, he pointed out that APNU was displeased that since its commencement the project has been sullied by charges of corruption.

“We want people to understand this, that hospital is not like GPHC or New Amsterdam …this hospital caters for people who have insurance in the US…no Guyanese can go there like at GPHC,” he said.

“It will be owned by a foreign company, it will be run by a foreign company all the doctors and nurses are Indian nationals. The public seems to be sympathetic when they hear about hospital but it is not for them. It is for foreigners or those who can afford foreign rates…from the beginning to now here has been a lot of irregularities and lack of transparency,” he added.

When Stabroek News visited the site yesterday no one was there but machines and other equipment were evidence that there had been a lot of work there in recent weeks.





More in Local News

default placeholder

Power outage after excavator causes trees to fall at Ithaca

An excavator being operated by the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) came into contact with trees within close proximity of GPL’s transmission and distribution system at Ithaca causing some trees to fall onto the Network.

default placeholder

Twenty communities identified for anti-crime measures under IDB programme

Twenty communities in five regions of the country and including large parts of the capital city have been identified for anti-crime measures under an IDB-funded programme.

Obina Hendricks

Man sought over drug trafficking at airport

Obina Hendricks ‘aka Hiney’ is wanted by the police for questioning in relation to ‘Trafficking in Narcotics’ on July 11, 2016, at the Eugene Correia International Airport, Ogle, the police say.

Carlton Chaitram, Tameshwar Jagmohan and Jairam Chaitram, 17, being escorted out of the Mibicuri Police Station.

Cops to charge trio over Black Bush murders

Police are preparing to charge a farmer, his teenaged son and an employee with last week’s  brutal Black Bush triple murder.

default placeholder

Over 100 passport applications received from NY weekly

Over 100 passport applications are being received from New York alone on a weekly basis and this has placed pressure on the Central Immigration and Passport Office, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix says.

default placeholder

Granger defends hiring former army officers for civilian posts

President David Granger “sees nothing wrong” with the appointment of retired or serving military officers to civilian posts and maintains that the appointments are being made based on competence.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: