EBD Overpass: ‘It was just a waste of money’; forensic audit underway – Edghill
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill on Friday disclosed that a forensic audit has been ordered into the procurement, construction, and operation of the East Bank Demerara pedestrian overpasses and their elevators, a brainchild of the previous administration now deemed “a white elephant.”
Minister Edghill was at the time responding to a question posed by the News Room during an interview he had with the Department of Public Information.
“Ah, the white elephants…we have requested a forensic audit to be conducted by the Auditor General Deodatt Sharma to determine the way forward in dealing with the matter,” the Public Works Minister said.
In 2016, five overhead walkways were constructed at strategic points along the East Bank of Demerara- Houston, Eccles, Peter’s Hall, Providence and Diamond. The previous APNU+AFC administration spent over $400 million to construct those overpasses and equipped them with two elevators each.
And those elevators have a $12.2 million price tag attached to them but they functioned only for a short period before becoming inoperable and now, the overpasses are barely used by commuters.
“This has been significant expenditure,” Edghill lamented.
“Anyone can pass and see [that] they are serving no purpose, the elevators are not functional.
“It was just a waste of money, a waste of taxpayers’ money that has transpired there” the Public Works Minister pointed out.
The overpasses at Diamond and Providence were constructed by S. Jagmohan Hardware Supplies while B&J Civil Works erected those at Peter’s Hall, Eccles, and Houston.
Meanwhile, the elevators were manufactured by the Swedish company, Cibes Lift Group AB, and supplied by RBP Lift Limited of Trinidad and Tobago.