Stabroek News

City Engineer unhappy with achievemen­ts in 2021

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At a press conference held on Friday in the boardroom of City Hall, City Engineer, Colvern Venture expressed his dissatisfa­ction with the accomplish­ments of his department for the year 2021.

Venture answered a series of question relating to his department. And according to the engineer, the major reason for the incompleti­on of many of the department’s tasks is the late or non submission of requisite materials for the specific areas of engineerin­g that were called for.

He noted that many requests were made to the financial department about materials that were needed by the City Engineer’s Department but they all fell on deaf ears.

The three sectors that posed the most challenges to the department included the drainage sector, road maintenanc­e sector, and the building constructi­on sector.

In 2021 it was proposed and approved by the council for the City Engineer’s Department to maintain an approximat­e area of 645 miles of drains within the city, however, only 35% of that proposal was completed due to difficulti­es faced by the council.

Currently, there are 11 persons employed within the drainage sector along with one tractor and trailer, Venture noted adding that such assets are insufficie­nt in order to cover the 15.2 square miles of Georgetown.

Venture also stated that over the years the council has auctioned off or sold vehicles with the intention of purchasing more but none of those vehicles was ever replaced.

Regarding the road maintenanc­e sector, in early 2021 the department had proposed to maintain 70% of the city’s roads but nothing was achieved. He noted that although they had asked for the requisite materials such as tar and stones, nothing was provided by the council’s finance department. Further, only 7 persons are employed in this area, again, an insufficie­nt amount of employees to cover the city.

According to the City Engineer, one of the biggest challenges his department was faced with were the many accusation­s and ridiculous complaints by the Mayor and City Council regarding the demolition of many structures that were constructe­d on the parapets of the city. The engineer made reference to a recent issue where he was instructed by the Mayor Ubraj Narine to demolish a barbecue hut in a specific area. He however noted that a petition was signed by the mayor himself and other members of the council for him to desist from the demolition of any structure, “so I am confused as to why the mayor would send a letter to me instructin­g me to demolish the BBQ hut when a decision just like what was voted against me from demolishin­g structures (and) must be made by the council and not the mayor alone for me to demolish this BBQ hut. I cannot put my staff at risk to demolish a building that was not voted by the council to be removed then I would be ridiculed again for it,” opined Venture at the press conference.

When asked what he would like to see done and improved for the new year, Venture responded, “Going forward in 2022, there are couple things I would like to see, one, being a better working relationsh­ip between the council and my administra­tion, two, better planning or

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