The New National Party’s (NNP) loudly tooted Agricultural Feeder Road Project to be done by the controversial Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is yet to commence.
Minister for Works, Gregory Bowen last week Tuesday during a post cabinet briefing confirmed speculations that road works has not commenced despite the elaborate sod-turning ceremony held May 21, in Mama Cannes/Grand Bacolet, St Andrew.
The senior government minister had claimed then that work has officially started on the project to be funded by monies coming from Kuwait.
Addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing last week, Minister Bowen explained that extensive work is being carried out at the Quarry plant (Asphalt and Crushing at Mt. Hartman) in the south of the island, which is necessary to undertake a substantial part of the second phase of the Feeder Road Project.
The Works Minister disclosed that the Mt Hartman facilities were vandalised requiring extensive work.
The Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government was at loggerheads with CCC during its four-and-a-half years in office.
A source close to CCC told this newspaper that the repair work on the plant is almost 100% completed.
According to Minister Bowen, the facilities are required to complete phase one of the roads projects that is the base and sub-base of the roads since that aspect cannot be undertaken without aggregates.
He told the media that 166 drums of asphalt were ordered and are presently on island so that cold-mix work can be undertaken on the potholes around the island.
Although the cold-mix does not work well is the rainy season, Bowen added that the asphalt plant in needed to produce the hot mix which is what is really required for a lasting roadwork programme.
The senior government minister disclosed that he has requested and is pushing CCC to get the crushing plants up and running within two weeks for the commencement of the Kuwaiti-funded road project.
Minister Bowen said that the cost to rehabilitate the plant which runs into millions of dollars at Mt Hartman will be undertaken by CCC as agreed to in the signed contractual agreement during the bidding process despite the company’s perceived displeasure with the cost of repairing these facilities.
He announced that in excess of 3,000 people applied for employment with CCC, but only an estimated 500 workers might be selected.
During the official launch of the project, Regional Manager of DIWI Consultant International Bryan Constantine, said that under the second phase of the project, 14 roads would be constructed throughout the island.
He explained that 97% of the project is being financed by the Kuwait Fund while the Government of Grenada will finance the additional 3% through counterpart financing.