Barticians are in for smoother rides as patching potholes has started; while the contracting company H Nauth and Sons said a culvert that collapsed recently was not part of the original contract, but it agreed to fix it after it was asked.

Managing Director of H Nauth and Sons, Kiran Nauth told Stabroek News yesterday that the collapsed Sixth Street culvert, mentioned in an article in the Monday edition of this newspaper about the state of Bartica roads, did not fall under the contract that his company executed to upgrade roads in the Region Seven community. He said, however, that the company had been asked by the project consultant to fix the collapsed culvert and has already stockpiled materials, but work could not have been done due to the rainy weather.

Stabroek News had reported that sections of Bartica roads upgraded to asphalt surfaces under the Community Service Enhancement Project (CSEP) have been deteriorating and Region Seven Chairman Holbert Knights had said that although the issues were raised with the project coordinator, nothing was done. He had said that the issues included potholes at First Avenue and the partly caved in culvert at Sixth Street, between First and Second Avenue.

Nauth yesterday said that his company had no responsibility for the culvert and it was not included in the original CSEP contract to upgrade roads in the community. Vice-Chairman of the Bartica NDC, Richard Williams, told this newspaper too that the culvert was not in the company’s contract. He said after it collapsed, the NDC had asked the company for assistance in fixing it.

Nauth explained that the fixing of the culvert was an addition to the original CSEP contract to which the company agreed to do after being approached by the consultant.

He said that some time in December, H Nauth and Sons was asked and agreed to undertake the works but was hampered by rain. Knights said yesterday that after raising the issue several times with the Project Coordinator, who works out of the Ministry of Finance, he was given all assurances that the repair to the culvert could be taken care of under the CSEP. He said that the culvert collapsed in September and during a site-visit with the coordinator in October, he asked and was assured that it could be repaired under the CSEP. Describing it as an issue that was “nagging and lagging for too long,” he noted that he had followed up the issue with the project coordinator several times.

The project coordinator, who declined to be named, told Stabroek News yesterday too that while the collapsed culvert did not fall under the original contract, after it had slipped earlier and was shored up, the company had been approached and agreed to facilitate fixing it under the CSEP. He said that a brand new culvert will be built and that work would start this week. Meanwhile, work to repair the potholes started yesterday and when Williams spoke to this newspaper yesterday afternoon, he said that they were filling a pothole at First Avenue. The Deputy Chairman of the NDC is also a contractor and was sub-contracted by H. Nauth and Sons to do the repairs. He stressed that while materials were available, the weather has been the problem. He added that they were hoping to “finish tarring” the potholes by yesterday afternoon. He asserted that after the repairs to the road are done, the collapsed culvert would be addressed later this week. “The culvert problem is our [NDC] problem,” he stated adding that the contractor was not charging the council anything.

However, Nauth said his company was doing the work at a discounted price and explained that his company had undertaken some work free of cost for the community.

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