“My son was not a drug dealer.”
These were the words of Safiya Williams yesterday as she spoke out about the death of her nine-year-old son, Cyon Paul.
No one seems to be at fault for the rupture of a 48-inch water main which was damaged during a highway expansion project at Trincity last month. Junior Sammy, said yesterday that his company, Jusamco, was not to blame. “We weren’t at fault. You should talk to the Ministry of Works. We have nothing to do with that,” Sammy said during a telephone interview. This contradicts with reports from project engineer Shereen Alexander who, in February, said that “a specific zone was identified for the contractor to operate within but this area was breached.” Questioned yesterday, Minister of Works and Infrastructure Suruj Rambachan could not say whether a cost for repair work had been submitted to his ministry. “Ask Minister Singh, I do not know,” Rambachan responded, when asked in a telephone interview yesterday.
However, in a text message yesterday, Singh directed all questions on the matter of recovering money spent to repair the damaged pipeline to WASA’s communications manager Ellen Lewis.
Lewis, in turn, directed questions to Singh, saying she was unable to acquire the requested information. The steel pipeline was ruptured while contractor Jusamco (Junior Sammy Group of Companies), was repairing and widening the Arouca River Bridge as part of an overall highway expansion project near Trincity Mall in February.
Over 400,000 customers were affected as their water supply had been cut off for three days while repairs were being conducted. Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh had then laid the blame for the rupture with the contractor and said a bill for the repairs would be submitted to the Ministry of Works and that the ministry would retrieve the money spent. The Guardian, last week, had requested a cost for the repairs from Lewis as well as the procedure to be followed when damage was done to WASA pipelines. Lewis was also asked who would be responsible for paying the damage.