ANOTHER GLITCH HOLDS UP POLYCLINIC
The sod-turning ceremony for the EC$13.5 million Dennery Polyclinic was held on March 8 this year. The facility falls under the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) and is financed by the World Bank. It is earmarked for the community of Bois Jolie, and the estimated time of completion was given as 18 months. A subsequent press release by the Ministry of Health days following the ceremony indicated that the project went through a period of “preparatory works, which included site identification and preparation, detailed architectural designs and a protracted international bidding and procurement process”.
On Monday this week the press was updated on the situation from representatives of the Ministries of Health, Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Engineering Construction and Management Consultancy (ECMC) Ltd.
Ivor Daniel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, stated: “It was brought to our attention that, from the project manager's standpoint, requests for information have been made. We've been attempting to respond to those requests. It has been determined by our consultant that those requests for information require a deeper, technical engineering intervention, and that intervention is beyond the scope of the PS's office. We've now gotten the assistance of a design review engineer in order to provide the required responses to the contractor.”
Egbert Louis of the consultancy firm ECMC, expounded: “A number of those issues that were raised by the contractor, and which we observed as the supervision consultant, were related to design. One of the critical issues is that during the excavation of the foundation for the building, we recognized that there are two or three ravines which pass through the site. This, of course, meant that we would need to undertake some sort of redesign of the structure."
“All of these are rather normal circumstances,” said Mr. Dwight Calixte, Chief Health Planner. “When you do the excavation, if there are issues, then you would have to redesign the building plan to suit its function. For instance, with OKEU there were some redesigns done. This is why we have as-built drawings being created. So it is quite normal to relook, reassess, redesign and move forward.”
As to when the new designs would be completed, the PS in the Ministry of Health, Mr. Philip Dalsou, made no promises: “I can't give you a precise date but we're working assiduously to have it done in the shortest possible time. Maybe a range of six weeks to three months. Don't hold me to it but we're looking at having the design modifications completed in the shortest possible time. From there we'll be able to determine cost.”
For his part, the Minister of Economic Development, Guy Joseph, said: “We could have said we need to finish this project before the next elections so let's overlook this, and let's take a makeshift approach and try to complete it, regardless of related problems ten years down the line. But that's not the approach of this government. We insist that anything we undertake should be properly completed, without shortcuts.”
---Joshua St. Aimee
Government ministers at the sod-turning ceremony for the Dennery Polyclinic in March. Left to right: Mary Issac, Ubaldus Raymond, Edmund Estaphane, Hermangild Francis. Second from right: Guy Joseph.