Head of the country’s E-Governance project Alexei Ramotar said that the search is on for an alternative to the Plaisance Community Centre Ground to site a tower for the project in the community.
“We are looking for an alternative location right now… we would like to have it in Plaisance still because the idea behind it was to serve the community of Plaisance. So, we are still looking for an alternative location in the Plaisance area,” Ramotar told a press conference at the Office of the President on Monday, where he reiterated that the project is expected to be finished in September.
Ramotar said too that one of the reasons the project wanted to site the tower in Plaisance is because of the restrictions on tall structures imposed by the nearby Ogle International Airport. Ramotar said that abo
ut $300,000 has been spent on works at the Community Centre ground, since all that was done was digging.
Residents of Plaisance, on the East Coast Demerara, staged a number of protests to voice their displeasure with government’s position to locate the tower in the Community Centre ground. They said they were not consulted on the decision to site the tower at the location. Efforts since then by the government to convince residents of the value of the site to the project have not swayed sentiments in favour of the tower siting at the ground.
There was also concern about possible damage to properties in Plaisance as a result of pile driving for the project. Ramotar, however, stated that no one has formally made any complaints against the project with regard to damage to properties due to pile driving exercises in the vicinity of the work sites. He said the project is prepared to address any such complaints.
“Before we do any pile driving exercise, we take photographs of the areas especially buildings, since we suspected that these issues would come up. However, up [until now] we haven’t had any complaints,” he said. “We don’t expect that the pile driving exercise will cause any major issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ramotar again said that the project should have been completed in June but has been plagued by delays surrounding design issues. “We expect to finish in September with testing to be finished
by December,” he said. “Right now we are doing remedial work and what we found a lot is that in at least three areas along the East Bank road there is vandalism of the cable. We assume people think its copper and when they open it they found that it was glass and not copper,” he added.
He also said that the project team is carrying out remedial works on parts of the cable located along the Linden to Lethem road because it had not been buried to the specified depths as a result of the rocky terrain.
He said the government came up with the idea for the ICT project because there is a need for both current and future industries which will require ICT services as part of their development. The project team
, he noted, consulted with the police and the Ministry of Education to understand what their ICT requirements would be, with a view to tailoring the technology to their needs.