Section of Parfaite Harmonie road built by GAICO failed prematurely

Dear Editor

It was interesting to read in the Stabroek News of Thursday Nov 2nd an article titled `Contractor defends structural integrity of Parfaite Harmonie access road’. Interesting because Stabroek News asked Komal Singh to comment on the premature failure of a road of which he built the central one third. For the public’s information the first and last thirds were constructed by BK International.

In February of this year I was privileged to organize field visits to inspect roads that prematurely failed. These visits were organized for over thirty staff from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. Apart from this road, another road inspected was Lot 2 of the East Bank Public Road which was also constructed by Komal. What a mess Lot 2 is in. The Western two lanes that is the two lanes that bring traffic into Georgetown began to fall apart within months of being constructed. It is now a lumpy, cracked, patched and tired looking road that is crying out for reconstruction.

Anyway back to the Parfaite Harmonie Access Road. When inspected, the road was hardly two and a half years old and we counted over a hundred patches in the central section which was built by Komal. Incidentally, there were far fewer patches in the other two sections. Hats off to Komal. He didn’t claim a poor design or faulty inspection. This would be pointing a finger at the designers and inspectors who would no doubt be highly offended. Instead paragraph one of your newspaper article states “Komal Singh Chief Executive Officer of Gaico Construction and General Services, says the dumping of overburden from the canals onto the side of the La Parfaite Harmonie access road is a major contributor to the road developing faults” Great answer. Pin the tail on an unnamed jackass.

The article went on to quote Komal who listed a dozen reasons that cause roads to fail as well as claiming the road is “a very solid road”. So much so for this road being a very solid road because I noticed numerous potholes developing in the mid-section of the road a year after it was built and that is the reason I had thirty odd staff from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure inspect the road in February of this year.

Really. Do you think Komal would admit that he did a very poor job, so poor that it pales when compared to the other two sections which were constructed by BK and constructed under exactly the same conditions?

There is a plaque at the Eastern entrance of the road which states that the road was opened on Sept 6th 2014 and the Hon Minister of Housing and Water was present at the ribbon cutting. In my opinion Stabroek News should be asking the entity that had the road built why it fell apart and according to the plaque that entity was the Ministry of Housing and Water which has morphed into the

Ministry of Communities. Stabroek News should hold their toes to the fire and seek answers why over 600 million dollars of taxpayers’ money was wasted. Komal’s interview shed little light why this road prematurely failed. He dodged the bullet by pontificating on why roads fail. Of interest. On April 30th 2017 Kaieteur News carried an article in which Komal advocated that contractors who underperformed should be sanctioned. If I had built Lot 2 of the East Bank Road and the central section of the Parfait Harmonie road I would be seriously stressed.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Gonsalves

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