While mas lovers favoured the modern and earth mas over the traditional aspect in San Fernando J’Ouvert celebrations, many observers felt this year’s presentations lacked creativity.
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Govt campus ready by 2015—Moonilal
The Government Campus Plaza (GCP) building to which the Immigration Division will be relocated will be completely outfitted by March 20, 2015. Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal gave the timeline in Parliament yesterday in an update on the delivery of space for some government offices. Moonilal said Udecott was working assiduously to ensure completion of the campus so that much-needed office space for public officers could be finally handed over. He said the entire campus would be occupied by public officers next year.
Moonilal said progress of the project was delayed for many different reasons, the most challenging of which was Udecott’s ability to source funding to complete it. “This is a hurdle Udecott was able to overcome recently, which resulted in recommencement of works for the first time since 2012,” he said, listing delays caused by the prioritisation of funds to meet the Clico debt and paying $7 billion in contractors’ bills left by the PNM Government.
He said the building originally earmarked for the National Security Ministry would instead be used to relocate the Immigration Division. “The urgent need to identify appropriate and acceptable office space for Immigration Department staff has been recently highlighted. Cabinet has decided such accommodation could be provided at GCP and the Immigration Department would be relocated to this building.”
He said NH International Caribbean (NHIC) Ltd started construction of the building on November 28, 2005, and it was scheduled to be completed by August 27, 2007. The contract price was $185.8 million.
But, he said, “From July 2010 to March 2012, Udecott undertook a massive reconciliation process with regard to duplication of claims and delays by contractors. The new Udecott also had to do analysis on the works done, via independent consultants and quantity surveyors with intense negotiations with contractors, subsequent to the findings.”
NHIC resumed work March 1, 2012, under a supplemental agreement and completed all base build works by March 21, 2014. The revised contract sum for these works under the supplemental agreement was $207.182 million. “While the building was completed three years after it was due, NHIC finalised the works at a final figure of $205.4 million, saving $1.7 million, VAT-exclusive.”
Moonilal added, “Udecott has already commenced regular, intense meetings with the Chief Immigration Officer to finalise a user brief as soon as possible, so in a matter of days, it will be possible to publicly invite proposals for fit-out of the building. “Udecott has given a timeline for completion of the Immigration building by which it is proposed that the fit-out of the building will be completed by March 20, 2015.”
Moonilal said the PNM Government took possession of the building at 1 Alexandra Street, St Clair, without statutory approval and the current Government had been locked into an agreement over the empty building since then. “A former government minister changed government policy by e-mail to ensure that building was eight floors, and Town and Country Planning approval was four days before a general election. She did that, she did that, I imagine it was done to satisfy the P-R-O-F-I-T,” he added.
Progress of Govt Campus Plaza
Board of Inland Revenue Tower
Contractor Carillion, started construction December 3, 2004.
Scheduled completion March 7, 2007.
Contract price $269.8 million
Delays caused supplemental agreement for completion by March 31, 2008, with a new contract of $348 million
Base building construction work completed March 2014, almost ten years after construction started.
Invitation for proposals for fit-out issued yesterday.
Scheduled completion now August 28, 2015.
Customs & Excise Building
NH International Caribbean Ltd started work May 17, 2004.
Scheduled completion March 16, 2006.
Plagued by delays.
Construction completed December 22, 2010.
Original contract price $99.5 million
Owing to delays, supplemental agreement agreed to March 3, 2008, with new contract price of $113 million.
At completion, construction cost was $113.3 million
$76.9 million fit-out contract for ten-storey building awarded to local contractor Exeqtech.
Work started April 2, 2014; scheduled completion, October 18, 2014.
Ministry of Legal Affairs/
Ministry of the Attorney General Tower
Contractor: Sunway Construction Caribbean Ltd.
Construction started May 23, 2005, with scheduled completion August 23, 2007.
Construction cost $368.9 million
Construction completed three years late on August 31, 2010.
$260.8 million fit-out contract of the 23-storey tower awarded to NHIC.
Work started June 2, 2014.
Scheduled completion August 31, 2015.
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