You are here

Limited business at WASA’s HQ

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ten days after a fire broke out on the second floor of Block B at the Water and Sewerage Authority’s (WASA) head office, St Joseph, operations have resumed but on a limited basis.

In a release late on Wednesday, officials advised members of the public that a mobile payment centre would be set up in the main car park to facilitate customers who were unable to visit other centres to transact business.

Contacted around 1.30 pm yesterday, WASA’s corporate communications manager Daniel Plenty confirmed throughout the morning period, “there had been a steady stream of customers utilising the service.”

Heartened by the response of the public, Plenty assured that displaced staff members had been absorbed into the various departments as he reiterated that no one had been sent home.

Plenty stressed the mobile centre was only dealing with payments and bill queries. Although the mobile centre opened at 9 am yesterday, Plenty said it would operate from 8 am to 4 pm daily.

He advised customers seeking to conduct other business to visit other centres at Trincity Regional Complex, Golden Grove Road, Arouca; Kew Place, Port-of-Spain; Sorzano Street, Arima; and Market Street, Chaguanas.

The fire resulted in the relocation of approximately 600 employees to office areas within and external to the head office complex.

Meanwhile, investigations are said to be ongoing into the January 5 fire.

With the cause still unknown, officials said the building remained off-limits to employees.

The original blaze reportedly began around 4.45 pm on January 5 at Block B, Building Nine, which housed the Corporate Communications Department, the Health and Safety Department and the Records Department.

Hours later it flared up, prompting fire officials to carry out further damping down operations.

Four days later on January 11, hours before Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Stuart Young visited the facility, the fire reignited.

Following media reports that senior managers and other employees had been suspended over the removal of sensitive files and other information from the head office following the fire, Public Utilities Minister Ancil Antoine yesterday said he was not aware of any such developments.

He said last week security had been increased at all of the utility’s other locations. He too said investigations were ongoing into the fire.