Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 17th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Monday, June 17, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 14th JUNE, 2013
From page A1
Contacted yesterday, Rampersad said he intended
to launch an investigation into the payments.
"Based on the information provided, I am going
to conduct enquiries into the matter with the pro-
curement unit and the accounts department," he
"Even though the matters are now coming up
for payment, several transactions would have took
place before my time. The Ministry of National
Security has a responsibility to look into the matter
and if a discrepancy is found , they have to send
it back to the accounts department.
"We do not print cheques at the Fire Services.
The process involving the acquisition of goods and
service are sent to the ministry for checking."
On the issue of whether Brantec Ltd was a pre-
ferred contractor for the supply of tyres, Rampersad
said, "They have a longstanding relationship with
the Fire Services. There is a contracted supplier
for tyres. However, I was informed by the engi-
neering department that the tyres being offered
by that supplier are not durable. When I was
informed I wrote the permanent secretary asking
for the tyres to be purchased on the open mar-
In a January 18 memo that accountant I Kameel
Hosein sent to Rampersad he said, "I wish to
inform that an invoice order VV597500 dated
August 27, 2012 was issued to Messrs Brantec Ltd
for customs purposes to import certain sized tyres
for use by the T&T Fire Services.
"In this regard, we have entered into a binding
agreement to purchase said tyres from that firm.
"However, Messrs Brantec Ltd is not reflected
as a contracted supplier. Notwithstanding that,
and without prejudice, our commitment must first
be to Messrs Brantec Ltd, as mentioned previously
a binding agreement exists."
Brantec Ltd is listed on the documents as the
service provider for all four jobs.
The head of Brantec Ltd, Caroline Baboolal, yes-
terday told T&T Guardian that she was unaware
of the payments submitted on the invoices.
Referring to the job carried out on PCT 1633,
Baboolal said, "Oil, filter and air change could
never be $41,000. It would cost around $6,500."
As to the $35,917 payment for oil and filter
change, Baboolal said, "I will have to look at my
invoices. It is not possible to charge $35,917 to
change oil and filter."
On the transmission for the water tanker, Baboolal
said, "I would have to look into that one. If Fire
Services have a problem they should contact us,
not call the T&T Guardian."
Fire chief to investigate
and CAMILLE CLARKE
Surviving only on river water and
prayers, Princes Town mother of three Bis-
soondaye Geeta Seenath had almost given
up hope as she wandered through the
Matura forest for seven days encountering
snakes and sleeping in complete darkness.
Seenath, 47, was reported missing during
an excursion to Salybia Beach on June 8.
She was found alive in the Matura forest
In the words of her husband Mohan, the
47-year-old woman s prayers and sheer will
to live brought a "sweet end to a sad story"
as she was miraculously rescued on Saturday
by Matura resident Jerod Nelson.
He said his wife, from whom he is
estranged, "drank river water" to survive
because she could not find any fruit trees.
Seenath, of Chappel Street, Manahambre,
Princes Town, went missing last Saturday
during a hike to Rio Seco waterfall, Matura.
She was among 40 people who went on an
excursion to Salybia Beach. Thirteen of the
40 people decided to hike from the beach
to the waterfall, which was nearby and
Seenath decided to go along.
However, she got separated from the group
and wandered off the trail.
She is now warded at the Sangre Grande
District Hospital in stable condition.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian from her
hospital bed yesterday, Seenath said it is a
"miracle" she is alive.
After the hike, others in the group realised
Seenath was missing and a search was
launched. Members of the Defence Force
and Police Service combed the area
They called off the search after four days.
However, on Saturday, she was found by
Matura resident Jerod Nelson, also called
"Wire." In all, she had survived in the forest
for seven days by living off of river water.
In an interview at the Sangre Grande Dis-
trict Hospital yesterday, Seenath seemed
drowsy from her dramatic ordeal. Her hair
was pulled back in one and she was covered
with a thick pink blanket. Nurses and order-
lies bustled around giving her medication
and arranging to take her for an X-Ray.
Seenath said she was unable to move on
the bed and was in pain, even as she recalled
the ordeal she lived through in the forest.
"It was like a miracle, every step I made
I prayed. At nights I heard gospel, Hindu
songs and prayers. I hold on to the mountain
and made my way. I walked and I walked,"
She said before she got lost others in the
group were bathing in a river.
"Some friends of mine were going. There
were some foreigners there (by the river) so
I followed them out and then I got lost.
They were in front of me and I got lost from
the rest of the group," she said.
Seenath said she climbed over hills and
followed the path of a river.
She said even as she stood at the highest
points on the hills there was no civilisation
to be seen.
"I tried to climb this hill to get away from
the water and I fell down and hurt my knee.
I stayed there whole night until the next
morning. It had big crabs and little crabs
there but they did not bite me."
"I went in the water and swim but I could
only swim a little bit, I am not that good,"
Seenath said she had to survive on what
"I never saw one fruit tree and I had to
drink the river water. I won t go hiking again,
never," she said.
Reunited with family
Seenath s sister Champa Singh, speaking
with the T&T Guardian at her Chappel
Street, home yesterday, said God led her to
meet Nelson whom they gave their telephone
number to so he would contact them.
Continues on Page A5
Hiker tells of seven-day ordeal in forest:
I survived on river
water and prayers
The player on the bass in
Phase II Pan Groove had this
admirer showing his approval
during the WeBeat steelband
street parade through the
streets of St James on
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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