Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Rowley links WASA boss to Water Scam
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar must immediately halt an alleged National Gas Company/WASA “incestuous scam” involving an NGC request for proposals for a WASA water recycling plant, says Opposition Leader Keith Rowley. “It just so happens the chairman of WASA, Indar Maharaj, who is requesting the works, is also the CEO of NGC, who will be managing the tender process on behalf of WASA,” Rowley said in his 2013-2014 budget reply yesterday in Parliament.
“A classic case of himself to himself and for herself. Today I call on the Prime Minister to immediately put a stop to this NGC/WASA incestuous scam much in the same way that she saw it fit to unnecessarily intervene in the Milshirv project in Tobago in which she had no business. “I was appalled when a high-ranking official recently told me that one of his colleagues is known to have stolen at least $1 billion from a programme under his purview. “He said he wasn’t guessing. He emphasised the Government knows this happened.”
Rowley, deeming the NGC/WASA deal the latest “feeding trough,” said on September 9 NGC issued, on behalf of WASA, a request for proposal from sole bidders to participate in a competitive bidding process which seeks proposals for the design, build, operation and maintenance of the Beetham Water Recycling Plant, together with associated pipeline and water storage facilities.
The project involves a recycling plant with a minimum capacity of 11 million gallons daily with pipeline 14 million gallons daily capacity and storage facility, Rowley said. He questioned the reference to “sole bidders,” however, and also expressed concern that the tender period was a mere seven weeks, with tenders closing October 28 with a $1.5 billion project, he estimated.
“Our investigations from reputable firms, local and international, confirm that a proper response to a request like this requires at minimum three to four months of work in order to respond appropriately,” Rowley said. “A careful perusal of the document of invitation reveals a very loose and low-level requirement to qualify to be an approved bidder and there are other stipulations which appear to fit only a particular known company. Very minimal water plant experience is required. Very minimal pipeline experience is required.
“Most interestingly, WASA, this billion-dollar enterprise which spawned the establishment of its own Ministry of Water Resources under the infamous Desalcott personnel, cannot do its own tendering and evaluations. It had to get NGC to do it on behalf of WASA.” “I wonder if the Cabinet knows of and approved this? “And all of this billion-dollar rape is to take place even as the Government sits stoically on the promised procurement legislation,” Rowley said.
“This is the same modus operandi which was utilised when they proceeded to divvy up the lands at Invaders Bay...It was the same thing with the award of the billion-dollar UWI campus in Penal. “Contractors can protest the secrecy and the cronyism until the cows come home. It has no effect on their behaviour.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.