Fri | Nov 27, 2020

CHEC ‘checking’ things straight

Published:Friday | June 7, 2019 | 12:18 AM

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is the contractor responsible for the implementation of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) being undertaken in Jamaica. A few of the projects under the MIDP include Kupius Bridge, Ferris Cross to Mackfield, Marcus Garvey Drive, Mandela Highway, Hagley Park Road and Constant Spring Road Improvement works.

CHEC, in response to an article published in The Sunday Gleaner dated May 19, 2019, captioned ‘NWC seeks millions in compensation from CHEC’, would like to offer the following clarifications to the public at large.

The article would appear to make a negative inference towards the contractor, in that the facts were not stated in its entirety, and we are of the view that this is a misrepresentation of the current state of affairs.

In a bid to bring more awareness to the reality of the situation, we are of the view that the attention should be placed on the following:

1. CHEC has not received any such correspondence letter regarding any compensation/claims and was not made aware of these issues.

2. CHEC is merely the contractor. All the land acquisition and utility relocation works are within the responsibilities of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) through it agencies, in accordance with the contract.

3. CHEC, being the contractor, after obtaining instructions by the GOJ, is responsible for the construction and implementation of all the roadworks and auxiliary work, including the new pipelines.

However, it should be noted that the GOJ did not provide any original pipeline layout drawings to CHEC for construction, which would show the exact locations/positions of existing pipelines.

Where these existing pipes are discovered within the roadworks during construction, CHEC has since taken some initiative by using concrete as a protective measure to cover/encase them.

‘PLAGUE’

Additionally, we highlight the ‘plague’ of the numerous broken pipelines seen on roadways where there are no construction activities being undertaken and where repairs have been recently done, most of which can be attributed to these pipes outdating their useful time (aged). This has resulted in the National Water Commission (NWC) championing the use of only new pipes on all current and future projects.

4. CHEC had scheduled to finish MIDP in its entirety at the end of March 2019, in an effort to give the public early access to the various roadways under the programme; however, it would be remiss not to mention the reality that CHEC’s construction progress has been severely hampered by several factors that have been out of the realm of CHEC’s control.

To date, there are approximately 250 metres of existing pipelines on the Constant Spring Road Improvement Project that are yet to be relocated following numerous request to the NWC, resulting in CHEC’s equipment and resources being idle on-site due to the lack of suitable working area.

In closing, we would like to state that CHEC has and continues to suffer financial losses and inordinate delays due to the state and/or presence of the existing pipelines and other issues, as mentioned above.

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), 4th Floor, Courtleigh Corporate Centre, 6-8 St Lucia Ave, Kingston 5. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.