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Parliamentary Opposition executives taken on flyover tour of Amaila Falls access road – 24th Jun 2013

From the air to on the ground, the Government facilitated leading executives of the country’s two parliamentary parties to get a  first hand look of works on the Amaila Falls road. Completion of the  road is one of the key benchmarks that has to be met for the Government to secure financing for the Amaila Falls Hydro project, which it says will provide cheap power to spur development and make it lighter on the pockets of ordinary electricity consumers.

The main opposition party, APNU said a major headache is that the contractors underestimated the scope and nature of the works so the deadlines would most likely be missed and in addition, they say the original contract costs of 15.4 million us dollars is expected to be doubled.

The contract to build the road was first given to  Flip Motilall, the man who it was later found, never built a road and was instead running a pooja shop, selling religious items in the US. He was fired at the start of 2012 and the project was put in the hands of various contractors. It was the work of these various contractors that the opposition wanted to see first hand and they discovered that the section most behind, is section 7. Which leads  directly to Amaila Falls.

In recent times, the Government revised a project cost several times, as disclosed by Mr. Ronald Bulkan, another executive of APNU, who was also on the tour this weekend.

In the original contract, Motilall was required to cut the path for the transmission line, which will take the power from Amaila Falls to the various distribution points. APNU today said the new contracts to the various contractors does not make provision for cutting this path for the transmission line, adding further uncertainty to the cost of the entire project.

According to APNU, the Government was willing to provide adequate answers to questions asked, but more information would be required. APNU said the engagement was a good beginning and the party hopes it would set the standard for openness in the provision of timely and critical information relating to projects which affect the nation.

The main opposition party would be interested in seeing the power purchase agreement with the Guyana Power and Light company, which will reveal if indeed, electricity costs would go down.

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