EYEWITNESS: Plodding on…


…with the Ming Swing

Even with all the criticisms of the illegal, sole-sourced design for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) – for both procedural and substantive reasons – the PNC-led Government, as usual, are plunging straight ahead. And, if their attitude’s anything to go by, the Devil should take the hindmost – which includes, obviously, those Guyanese who’ve expressed doubts about the project design!

The bids from the 11 mostly Chinese bidders will now be evaluated by this month-end, and three will be shortlisted. Even this procedure is highly suspect…since the criteria for the culling of 11 companies to 3 hasn’t been spelled out. This refusal to have all 11 companies submit bids stinks. It screams to high heavens that something rotten is in the making. It’s a crock to say it’s easier to pick from three bids than from 11!!!!

Then, with so many Chinese companies involved, why would the Chinese Ambassador – a diplomat, mind you!! — say the design is so last century they wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole!! Imagine, China was the poster boy for backwardness and poverty back in the sixties, when we were flying high – and can now talk to us about backwardness!! That’s because those who make decisions about our development are not concerned about our development!

Why was the ambassador so scathing? For the same reason any Guyanese who even cursorily considers the approved design would be. Guyanese know of the frustration caused to Demerara commuters over the last forty years, when the present DHB had to retract a span to allow ships to proceed upriver!! Now with us building a new bridge in the 21st century, you’d think any sane administration would build a fixed-span bridge, wouldn’t you?? The PPP thought so!!

After all, Suriname built TWO, decades ago!! But no…rather than having a span RETRACT like the old DHB, this Government boasts about having a span LIFTED as if it’s technological leap forward!! The bottom line is that traffic would still be halted when the bridge is “open”!!

This Government would like us to go along with spending all those hundreds of millions of US dollars for the “lifting” structure, rather than the present floating pontoons, because VEHICLES WOULD NOW BE ABLE TO PARK ON THE BRIDGE, RATHER THAN ON THE ROAD!!

So what gives, since your Eyewitness doesn’t believe Minister Patterson can pass the McNaughton test to qualify for an “insanity plea”?!! The sudden swing of the Bridge as it approaches the western bank of the river offers a clue: it ends at land owned by PNC financier Stanley.
We’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to figure out the reason for the “Ming Swing”!!

…with antique aircraft

Well, now your Eyewitness has heard it all!! Prodded by the PPP as to why they’re spending $484 million on four planes — manufactured forty years ago — for the GDF, the Government said the planes were like “Rolls Royses” – and age doesn’t matter!! Really?!! So we wonder why airlines aren’t flying those old Constellations from the WWII era!! Those were real beauts, weren’t they??

But even if we’re to buy the argument about equating 1970s Skyvans and Islanders with Rolls…do these people know why Rolls become “vintage” and “antiques”? They aren’t used to fetch cargo all year round. With all the maintenance in the world, if these planes are used by the army as planned, they’ll be scrap in a few years. Just like those old Bell helicopters Burnham’d bought while he was around.

The Skyvan – known as “the Flying Shoebox” – is pretty much extinct, with only 40 left as of 2009. And the GDF really believe they’ll be able to get spares??
Your Eyewitness has the Brooklyn Bridge to sell!!

…with GWI hanky-panky

Last June, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green was appointed to Chair GWI’s Board…to deal with procurement “irregularities”.

Minister Bulkan’s now miffed GWI’s still sole sourcing. Wasn’t appointing Chase-Green tantamount to putting the cat to guard the milk??



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