Two pump attendants employed by the Mayor and City Council were suspended for three days after they were found guilty of neglecting their duties at their pump stations during heavy flooding two Fridays ago. Chief City Engineer Colvern Venture told councillors during the statutory meeting of the council on Wednesday that the decision to discipline the workers was made last week Friday when engineers from the city visited pump stations and observed that they were not being tended to.
Venture said that disciplinary action had to be taken since the pump stations at Kingston and Ruimveldt were in a delicate state and were not being monitored.
As a result of the situation, the City Engineer’s Department has put in place a 24-hour monitoring system for pumps across the city. The team which is a part of the monitoring system will be responsible for acting in cases of emergencies and where blockages in the drainage systems are present.
Town Clerk Royston King said that the city must get value for its money from employees. Additionally, Venture said that last week Friday when the majority of the city was under water, they received assistance from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to offer relief to flood-affected residents. Two pumps were later installed on the night of the flooding at Muneshwer’s on Water Street and on Sussex Street while two smaller pumps were deployed to Georgetown including the Queenstown area to quickly remedy the situation. According to Venture, who briefed the council on the work done by the engineer’s department during the flood, they had to break a road in North-East La Penitence to offer relief to residents there as floodwater was lodged in the area. Venture also explained that over the weekend they had experienced technical problems with the pump at Princes Street which resulted in a breakdown. However they are working to have all the pumps up and working.