JCC again calls for regulations to oversee money spent on roadworks

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A contractor offloads asphalt at Golconda Connector Road in south Trinidad where the Ministry of Works and Transport carried out remedial works on Sunday. – Photo by Marvin Hamilton

THE Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC) is again calling on the government to operationalise the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act of 2015 and the attendant regulations so the public can get value for money spent on rehabilitating and upgrading the nation’s road network.

The call was made by JCC president Fazir Khan in an open letter on Monday.

Khan pointed out procurement legislation has already been passed in both houses of Parliament with some areas set aside.

In the letter, Khan said the JCC recognised the efforts by the Works Ministry to address the problem of deteriorating road infrastructure.

“It is heartening to see these infrastructure projects actually commencing at the beginning of the dry season this year.”

Khan said Minister Rohan Sinanan was also correct in identifying the three main factors that contribute to the ‘stress’ on the road infrastructure as being: the Water and Sewerage Authority’s leaky infrastructure which results in the digging up of roads; funding since highways require annual maintenance and overweight vehicles.

“The JCC wants to add a fourth item which is the lack of proper roadside drainage infrastructure.”

The JCC said the problem of overweight vehicles fell under the transport division of the ministry and reminded of statements made by the minister in March last year that new hand-held devices procured and new inspection technology would identify these trucks.

Sinanan also reportedly said, “ Once a truck is identified on a route it was not licensed for then penalties can be administered to the truck.”

The JCC said a report from the transport division on the efficacy of those measures in reducing overloaded vehicles would be useful to quantify the persistence of the transgression.

On leaking WASA water mains, the JCC said significant expenditure will be required to upgrade the network of leaking pipes throughout the country, as approximately 50 per cent of water produced by WASA was lost due to leakage.

“In the meantime, the only way to optimise the benefits that can accrue from repairing leaking mains would be to implement smart metering at the main junctions of the existing pipeline networks, tied to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and water distribution networking software.

“This would provide a real-time picture of where the leaks are occurring enabling the WASA to focus its limited resources on critical repairs. This is especially critical in central and south Trinidad where ‘unnoticed’ leaking buried mains can easily lubricate the prevailing poor clayey soils resulting in landslips that are detrimental to the road infrastructure as well as the nearby structures.

“Intelligent systems are required to save water, save money and save our roads and adjacent structures in the medium and long term,” the JCC advised.