Edghill berates contractor for sluggish work on Leguan stelling

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More than two years after works were to be completed on the Leguan stelling, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, yesterday, told the contractor that the pace of the work is unsatisfactory.

Minister Edghill voiced his displeasure during an inspection of the ongoing $413 million project being spearheaded by S. Maraj Contracting Services.

The Minister’s response stemmed from an update from the contractor that he has applied for an extension of the project to September 2021, through the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD).

Speaking to residents at the stelling, Minister Edghill said: “We are utterly dissatisfied with the pace and the performance of this project because while the contractor is asking for the extensions of time, we understand that you are suffering. This project was intended to bring benefits to you, not distress.”

Minister Edghill was adamant that it is unacceptable for a project to be prolonged to late 2021 when it initially had a six-month duration following the signing in November 2018.

As such, he informed the contractor, engineer, senior staff of T&HD, along with the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the T&HD Advisory Council that a meeting would be convened on Friday to chart the way forward.

During that meeting, the contractor’s new work plan will be revised.

“If after tomorrow [today] Mr. Maharaj cannot get this project completed within what will be described as a reasonable timeframe, and in keeping with our expectations, another contractor will have to be engaged to get the job done,” the Minister said.

Minister Edghill’s visit to the stelling was preceded by an engagement on Wednesday between President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Leguan residents where discussions included the lengthy delays on the project.

On August 11, Minister Edghill met the contractor and T&HD officials to get to the bottom of the numerous months of stalled works.

Since then, the Minister has insisted that taxpayers must get value for their money through the timely completion of Government projects.