The Paradise, East Coast pump is one of the new ones that the Ministry of Agriculture added to boost drainage capacity in 2014, the Government Information Agency said on Saturday.
It has a capacity of 200 cu.ft/sec and is of benefit to 4500 acres of land, both residential and agricultural, GINA said.
It added that Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy who visited the pump station, on the East Coast of Demerara on Friday, in the company of Chief Executive Officer of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, Lionel Wordsworth, said that though completed, the pump has not yet been commissioned. He said that thus far, the ministry has only had one occasion to use the pump and that was a few weeks ago, when the country experienced heavy rain.
Ramsammy said that the amount of rain that was recorded in areas, (over 200mm in one 24- hour period, and in a three-day period more than 300mm of rain,) in the past would have caused flooding that would have lasted for weeks.
He pointed out that in this case, in about three to four days most of the villages were relieved from the flood and mainly for the reason that the pump was in operation, GINA reported.
GINA said that the Paradise pump is among one of 14 that the ministry had started to put in place under the EXIM Bank of India which has famously become known as the Surendra pumps. “I still see in parts of the media confusion as to where are these pumps. Have they arrived in the country? And in the meanwhile as far as I know at least 10 of the 14 pumps have been installed and are in operation,” Minister Ramsammy said, according to GINA.
Questions continue to be asked about these pumps from the controversial Indian supplier.
The contract for the Paradise pump station is valued $139M and the pump itself was acquired at a cost of US$4M, GINA said.