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Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh says the cost of repairing the ruptured water main in Trincity is still unknown, and will probably be released by next Monday. Singh, who initially said the estimate would be ready by yesterday, said the figure would be worked out over the weekend and sent to the Ministry of Works.
On Thursday, at the post-Cabinet news conference, Singh said contractor Junior Sammy (Jusamco) committed a breach which resulted in a ruptured 48-inch steel main off the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, near Trincity Mall, on Wednesday afternoon. The incident happened while the contractor was repairing and widening a bridge as part of an overall highway expansion project. Singh quoted a project engineer as saying that “a specific zone was identified for the contractor to operate within, but this area was breached.”
Jusamco, however, has sought to blame the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), saying the authority had failed to place markers on the job site. In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Singh said because it was an emergency, as more than 400,000 people were affected, WASA had had to start repairs immediately. He said the overall repair cost would be computed and then put forward. He commended WASA for repairing the main so quickly.
“I want to congratulate the WASA crew, they did it within record time,” he said. In a statement yesterday, WASA maintained that there were visible markers on the site. The release said there were several valve and appurtenance chambers with the Jusamco job site in the foreground.
“These clearly identifiable chambers are used by WASA personnel to access air valves, operate control valves and monitor pressures and flows along its transmission system. They are clear indications of WASA’s underground pipeline infrastructure which can be found throughout the country and which are easily recognisable by ordinary citizens,” the statement said. The release said other than the many valve and appurtenance chambers in the area, the Caroni Water Treatment Flow Control Station was located nearby.