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Thursday, August 10, 2006 – The Ministry of Communication and Works has responded to mounting public concerns with regard to simultaneous works taking place in key areas of the city circuit.

During a discussion on the National Television Network – NTN - Chief Resident Engineer on the Castries and Anse-La-Raye Flood Mitigation Project Mr. Mandish Singh provided explanations for the strategy deployed.

“There are three main arteries road arteries coming into Castries, Chausee Road, John Compton Highway and Darling Road. The intention was to have only one of those roads closed at any one time to facilitate traffic. What has transpired is that we had to divert some utilities, which involved ordering new pipes - pipes which had to be fabricated and which added a time of 4 to 8 weeks to the programme.”

Mr. Singh says crucial decisions had to be made to minimize the impact of those delays.

“The question arose as to whether to wait for the pipes to be delivered to continue with the works on the Chausee and have everybody sitting down doing nothing or try to progress with works elsewhere and by so doing minimize the costs the contractor would be bearing.”

Coordinator of the Castries and Anse La Raye Flood Mitigation Project Mr. Anthony Jn. Baptiste says the absence of a blueprint pointing to the location of underground utilities was a great stumbling block.

“Castries is a very old city and as it develops maybe it was an oversight on the part of the utility companies to basically keep records of the location of the underground infrastructure. Water and power lines we never envisaged were in certain locations, and this caused serious interruption to the implementation of the works.”

He said corrective measures will definitely be put in place by the ministry of Communications and Works.

“We are hoping that with the completion of the project we will record where every single utility line that we have encountered passes. We will record this on what we call our AS-Built Drawings so that in future we will not encounter such problems.”

Mr. Jn. Baptiste called on the public to desist from littering and indiscriminately dumping plastic bottles and other solid waste. This habit he observed only worsens the flooding problems government is trying to address.

The $7 million US dollar Castries and Anse-La-Raye Flood Mitigation Project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank – particularly the Castries works - is expected to be completed in the next 2 months.

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