The MV Barima is set to sail again on Friday evening after repairs were conducted to rectify engine trouble that developed along its journey to Region One on Wednesday.
Friday afternoon, Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill met the ship’s Captain to assess its readiness for travel.
Speaking with the 69 affected passengers at the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) Wharf, Minister Edghill said every effort was made to resume the vessel’s operations.
“We have engaged MACORP and I have been getting reports on what is happening.
[Thursday] evening, I took the intervention one step higher by having the Chairman of the Board of Transport and Harbours, Ms. Rosalinda Rasul to personally intervene to make sure things are moving,” he said.
Additionally, Minister Edghill said the incident is one of the reasons the Government has made budgetary provisions to rehabilitate several vessels attached to the T&HD.
“Since we came into office, we accelerated the work to get the new vessel for North West, which is being funded through the Government of India to be on the go.
The good news is we have already signed the contract, work has begun and we expect that vessel within 15-16 months because it is an 18-month contract.”
That $2.6 billion contract for the new ocean-going ferry and was awarded to Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers Limited (GRSEL).
The Administration saved $588 million on the award and has indicated the money would be redirected to construct new stellings at Morawhanna, Kumaka and Port Kaituma in Region One.
The Minister apologised for the inconvenience caused and offered all passengers aboard the vessel at the time it malfunctioned, a free roundtrip journey from Region One to Georgetown. [DPI article]