Work restarts at collapsed Palmyra monument site

Work has restarted at the site of the collapsed base for the Indian Arrival monument at Palmyra, Berbice.

The restart of the work will raise questions as no report has been presented to the public about the cause of the collapse or which contractor will now be doing the base. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure was said to have been compiling a report on the collapse.

Stabroek News visited the Corentyne site yesterday and noticed that workers were in the process of installing steel rods.

Work being done at the Palmyra site yesterday.

According to a worker at the site, this time around, instead of hollow blocks being used, a solid cast will be done for the structure that will hold the weighty bronze monument. The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that while the design of the structure remains the same, “solid cast will be done”.

He also said that a new engineer is heading the project.

“We get a new engineer take over, Alvin Macedo, he’s from Soesdyke”, the worker said. However, when asked for a contact number for the new engineer, the workers said they did not have one, since they only interact with him when he comes to Berbice to pay them on Saturdays.

At this point, the foreman in charge of the site asked Stabroek News to leave the location, stating that he had spoken with the consultant who had said that no one is allowed to visit the project without permission from the company.

On April 25, the base at the monument site which was being prepared for the annual May 5 celebrations collapsed. Since then the project has come under close scrutiny. While most opined that the cause of the collapse was due to substandard work being done, others questioned the awarding of the project to Linden-based company, Alternative Contracting Enterprise.

In March 2017, Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, together with the Indian High Com-missioner, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, had unveiled a signboard depicting the monument at the chosen Palmyra location.

Nagamootoo, during that unveiling ceremony, had told media operatives that $97 million had been allocated for the building of the structure upon which the monument would be placed. The US$150,000 bronze sculpture has been paid for by the Govern-ment of India.





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