Avinash Construction gets to keep Cemetery Road project

Construction works along Cemetery Road [File Photo]

Despite having faced a number of delays with the project, Avinash Construction and Metal Works will get to keep the contract for the $475M Cemetery Road works.

This was revealed by Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill during an interview with this publication today.

The current revised deadline for the project was March 31, 2024.

But according to Minister Edghill, the government’s evaluators decided against terminating the contract with Avinash Construction and Metal Works since the company has significantly advanced works.

Nevertheless, he said the government will pursue liquidated damages from the contractor for the delays suffered in the execution of the contract.

The multi-million project will see the two-lane carriageway being extended into four lanes. When completed, it is expected to significantly alleviate traffic congestion.

The project was awarded to Avinash Construction and Metal Works Company and was initially expected to be completed in July 2023.

However, the project suffered significant delays due to heavy rainfall and procurement challenges, resulting in the prolonged execution of the project.

Previously, the public works minister had issued a warning that if the thoroughfare is not completed within the newly revised timeline, contracts will be terminated and awarded to a ‘dedicated contractor or the Special Project Unit (SPU).

Just a few days ago during a meeting with representatives of ministries and agencies responsible for awarding and monitoring government contracts, President Dr Irfaan Ali ordered that penalties outlined in a number of government contracts be enforced for companies that continue to default on their contractual obligations.

Apart from the expansion of Cemetery Road, the overall project includes the enhancement of Independence Boulevard. That road was extended into three lanes and a recreational promenade was erected.

The Independence Boulevard project has long been completed and has repositioned the lives of residents allowing for the increase of property value, increased foot and vehicular traffic in the community, easier road access, and most importantly, a catalyst for community engagement.

This is in keeping with the government’s vision of community development aligned with the modernisation of the capital city and country at large.