Fix Stabroek Market, mayor tells contractor
Stabroek News
September 14, 2002

Related Links: Articles on Georgetown
Letters Menu Archival Menu

The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has found that faulty work has been done on the Stabroek Market and says it will not sign any document to take it over.

A statement issued by the M&CC on Thursday mentioned that during a visit on Tuesday morning a jewellery stall which had been in the market for a considerable number of years, showed the M&CC team a large tarpaulin it was forced to purchase to protect the stall from the rain. The release also said that several stallholders complained bitterly that the situation had worsened since the new works were executed. "It is clear that bad work has been done and we do not intend to have an embarrassment such as we have seen elsewhere, by taking over a facility that is the result of bad work or poor design."

The M&CC said it has prepared a list of faults that it considers unacceptable and said it intends to bring the state of affairs to the attention of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the government.

The M&CC said it has a responsibility to the citizens, vendors and stallholders and will not allow either the contractor or consultant to get away with poor quality work.

"Whatever may be the arrangements, legal or otherwise, the M&CC has a responsibility and duty to protect the welfare of the stall holders who are suffering," the release said.

The release was responding to certain remarks made in the press by a representative of R Basso & Sons, the contracting firm that repaired the market at a cost of $150 million.

However, Stabroek News understands that, Clairmont Marshall an employee of the contracting firm was also responding to statements made by Mayor Hamilton Green on a television news broadcast where he said he was unhappy with the repairs.

Marshall was reported as saying that work was completed to the standards of the consultant, CEMCO, and handed over to the M&CC on August 16. He had also said the contracting firm had no dealings with the M&CC and need not be bothered with concerns expressed by the mayor.

Green observed: "That statement is arrogant and foolish coming from a contractor doing work on an important public building," the M&CC statement said. It also said that Marshall was a stranger to the truth since nothing was handed over to M&CC on August 16 or any other date.

In the statement issued by the M&CC, Mayor Green said he had no intention "to bandy words" with Marshall "save to observe that the statement by the contractor may be expressions with deeper implications."

Stabroek News contacted Marshall who, through his secretary, referred this newspaper to Senior Project Officer of the Urban Development Programme (UDP), Frederick Flatts.

Flatts told Stabroek News that the UDP is the client for the project and if anyone has a problem with the work done then they should contact the agency which would certainly look into it. He advised that the M&CC should write a letter to the UDP and said up to yesterday he was not aware of any such letter. Flatts said work is still being done on the market adding that he was not aware that the market was actually handed over to the M&CC. He said that the extended completion date was July 31 but said the project is now in its defect liability stage that ends in February of 2003. During this stage, should there be any faults the contractor was required to fix them.

Further, Flatts said representatives from the UDP, the consultant and the M&CC, had visited the market and they had all compiled a list of faults which was given to the contractor to be remedied.