Row brews over Stabroek Market repairs by Abigail Butler
Guyana Chronicle
September 12, 2002

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MAYOR of Georgetown, Mr. Hamilton Green has expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of work done on the Stabroek Market following a visit there earlier this week but contractor, Mr. Roy Bassoo has exonerated his firm from blame.

He said they are not worried about Green's statement since the work was done according to the conditions and specifications of the contract.

According to the contractor, the work was completed to the standard accepted by the consultant and handed over to the Mayor and City Council on August 16.

The $150M contract required the removal and replacement of all roof sheets, the removal and replacement of all flashings, painting of the entire structure, and the removal and replacement of electrical wiring and fixtures.

Following the completion of the rehabilitation works last month, there have been complaints that there are several defects on the building, including leakage.

The Chronicle yesterday contacted the contractor and according to Project Director, Mr. Clairmont 'Monty' Marshall, only consultant CEMCO can determine whether the work done is up to standard.

He stressed that their orders are taken only from CEMCO.

According to Marshall, the problems now being talked about stem from the 'stretching' of funds on the part of the consultant.

He said they have proof of several warnings given to the consultant that if certain things were not done there will be defects.

He said CEMCO gives the orders and even they feel otherwise, they have to abide by the orders given.

For instance certain decisions were made with regards to roof and canopy that the Project Director said he did not agree with but had to do.

"...the contractor has an obligation if he sees things are not going in the right way to inform the consultant but he still has to take orders," he stressed.

Citing examples of works done that the contractor did not agree with, Marshall said there were two toilets to be done, one to be reconditioned and the other rebuilt.

Stating that the consultant did not want to spend money, he said some patch works were done on what should have been broken down.

He added that many works done on the market were not in the contract, but not wanting to compromise the quality of work being done in other sections, the contractor took it upon himself to do additional work, some of which are not even paid for as yet.

Marshall said another problem encountered had to do with the old lookout towers above the market.

He explained that the flooring is bad and that the rains blow in for instance, the water seeps through the flooring and can affect whatever is beneath. This too, he said, the consultant did not want to fund.

He said that in every job there are minor defects which can be corrected.

He said there is a defects period where the contractor is given a certain amount of time to maintain and do remedial works on completed projects. R. Bassoo has until February of 2003 to do so.

According to the contractor, if the consultant feels anything should be done over and instructs them to do so, they have no reservations doing it.

Marshall added that Green cannot instruct them to redo any work and cannot even question them, but has to go through the consultant.

In addition, the contractor said the works had to be done while vending was taking place in the market.

He said vendors refused to move, not wanting to lose sales.