One of the four Caretakers of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the St. Andrew’s Constituencies believes lack of proper governance is contributing to additional expenses for the cash-strapped New National Party Government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Phillip Alexander who is the NDC Caretaker for St. Andrew’s North West was at the time voicing his concern over the costs that will be associated with the Birchgrove Bridge that collapsed on November 17th.
Alexander told a call-in radio programme last week that good governance needs to be at the fore because it means that there must be a logical responsible effort on the part of every citizen.
“The cost associated with good governance sometimes might be high, but it’s an important cost that we must bear as a people,” he said.
Having resided in Birchgrove, St. Andrew’s, Alexander indicated to the host of the programme that the highest rainfall in the country apart from Mt. St. Catherine and Grand Etang range is in places like Birchgrove.
He said with that being the case whenever engineering work has to be done, any engineer worth his or her salt will consider the issues of rainfall and any other physical circumstances.
“But to turn up at this time, and to attempt to work on the road without a basic thing as sureing (up) the existing foundation – my limited training tells me that that didn’t sound right,” he remarked.
The NDC Caretaker praised former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for his dedication to good governance in public affairs.
“Governance has a cost, and good governance is better because at the end it will cost you less,” he said.
Alexander said he has always advised that when wrong things are done there will be wrong results.
“We can’t continue to do the wrong thing and expect (the) right result, and that, in large measure, demonstrates what has happened there… It cannot be business as usual,” he quipped.
According to Alexander, the work that was taking place was to correct the free flow of waste through a culvert.
He spoke of the Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Works, John St. Louis indicating that certain decisions were made outside of the norm.
“That, to me, speaks volumes to (the) way we’re doing business,” he said.
A contract was awarded to a private individual to undertake the work, and Alexander felt that the contractor did not have the capacity to do the job.
The person identified as getting the contract is a political operative for the current government in the St. Andrew South-west constituency whose only known skill is that of a Cabinet Maker.
According to Alexander, there are reports that the manner in which the contract was awarded was not properly done, as it failed to fall in line with the norms of such a project.
“That (collapsed road), today, is going to cost us. It’s going to cost us time,” he said.
The NDC Caretaker voiced concern with what will happen between now and the Christmas Season, and the cost that will be associated with the work.
Motorists have been forced to seek alternative routes that result in them taking longer time to move from one village into the other in the affected constituency.
Alexander felt that if the process was undertaken properly, the requisite skills set would have been achieved.
He said Grenada needs a different type of leadership, and a different approach to development.