Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2017 Contents A14 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 9, 2017
PM: Maracas upgrade to cost $50 m
Drastic cut in
Upgrade to Maracas Bay has seen a significant
slash in expenditure from $240 to $50 million.
This according to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
who spoke on Monday during his first of 14 Conver-
sations with the Prime Minister in Maloney.
Rowley said that some people had grown accus-
tomed to waste, which had led the country to borrow
significant sums of money to maintain this lifestyle.
Since assuming office, Rowley said his Government
had to cut expenditure in several projects, while en-
suring that taxpayers get their monies worth. One
such project was Maracas Bay restoration project.
Rowley said the price tag to upgrade that facility
under the then People's Partnership government
was "a $240 million exercise when we thought we
He said there was a contractor on site, aiming to
spend this figure.
When the Government changed, Rowley said he
warned the country that they would have to curb its
"And that project was already in trouble. We got
into it and we discovered that we did not really need
to spend $240 million on Maracas especially when
we can't buy medication for the hospitals."
Several weeks after high tides caused floodings at
Maracas Bay, the popular tourist attraction remains
in a deplorable state and an eyesore, with tourists
complaining about a stench and poor washroom con-
ditions. The situation was highlighted in Monday's
Having examined the project, Rowley said "after
months of trying to untangle the carrying on and
facing all kinds of threats" they thought they could
have done the project for below $100 million.
"We don't have $100 million to spend on Maracas
at this point in time and never did. I can tell you today
we have done the work on that situation, Maracas
will have its carpark, huts for the vendors, road im-
provement and its sewer treatment plant fix for under
Rowley said his Government was now in a situation
where they have to do more with less.
"We milled the road from Point Cumana to Tem-
bladora (Chaguaramas)...milled and paved it for $8
million. In that Maracas project the paving of the car-
park was down for $34 million. That is what we are
dealing with. That is what we are trying to prevent."
Rowley said somehow T&T had gone berserk.
"Some people were doing magnificently well in that
kind of arrangement. And those who are making the
most noise that nothing is going on...that is what
they wanted to go on."
In going forward, Rowley said as projects are an-
nounced, Government will get the benefit of com-
petitive tender and "our contractors will give us their
best prices or they don't get the work."
Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said
he was pleased that the price had been significantly
Sinanan promised that taxpayers will get its worth
While the Maracas
Bay upgrade won't be
completed in time for
Carnival visitors to
enjoy, facilities are
in place to ensure a
proper standard of
comfort at the pop-
ular beach, Works
Minister Rohan Si-
nanan said on Tues-
Replying to Opposi-
tion questions in the
Senate, Sinanan said
the upgrade began in
July 2015 costing over
$100 million and more
than $25 million was
spent on the project
up to January 2016,
but it was only ten
per cent complete. It
was stopped following
reasons the contractors
gave about "unforeseen
ing the tender, he said.
Sinanan said Nidco
re-scoped the project
to be completed in
the next five months.
While it won't be com-
pleted before Carnival,
to ensure visitors don't
have the discomfort
which occurred dur-
ing recent heavy rains,
pumps and teams are on
site to keep the facilities
at certain standards.
Sinanan said the for-
mer contractor, Kallco,
has been terminated
and Nidco was evalu-
ating new bids. He said
the Attorney General
has been examining
many contracts since
"I'm sure this (Kallco
contract) could engage
his attention," he said.
On other queries,
Senate leader Paula Go-
pee-Scoon said talks are
taking place between
the Education Minis-
try and officials of the
School for the Blind to
resolve issues and find
an alternative following
a recent lock out of staff
and students. She said
the Ministry was trying
to deal with the matter
A stagnant drain at Maracas Bay. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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