The Melville Hall Airport Road project known as Lot 2 remains problem-plagued, despite an announcement this week by Public Works Minister Rayburn Blackmoore that two new sub-contractors were being brought in to assist in the completion works.
Still very disturbed by the circumstances under which its members have been treated on that project is the Dominica Tipper Truckers association.
The association has called for an explanation from government about long overdue payments being awaited by truckers working on the road project.
The truckers contracted on Lot 2 have stayed away from work for several weeks, after their attempts to get monies owed to them failed.
Association president Earl Laudat says Contractor Jacques Gharddarkhan has indicated that he has not been paid by the government.
“He gave a deadline in June when we are not working because we don’t get money now he talks about September so how do we go to work?” Laudat said.
He added that Minister Blackmoore “never once even call us and say look you all have a problem let’s see how we can resolve it. We went to him, he say take Gharddarkhan to court, we cannot go to work because we are not getting paid”.
Laudat told Dominica News Online that contractor Jacques Gharddakhan has indicated that he has not received money from government, which he cited as the reason for the delay in paying the truckers.
“Up to this morning I met with the main contractor Gharddakhan. He said government has not paid him. We need to know who is telling the truth and who is not,” Laudat insisted.
“I’m hearing on radio that Blackmore give new contractors contracts to work on the project – what about the truckers in Dominica that have worked for the contractor, I mean every time you get to the politicians with a problem they seem to be hiding behind you and the next person,” an angry Laudat told DNO.
On Monday Minister Blackmore announced that two new sub-contractors: Offshore Civil and Marine Inc and Dipcon Engineering Ltd were brought in to help complete the road project.
The minister told reporters that the additional contractors have been given specific instructions to focus on areas where the original contractor had fallen short.
“The intention so far is to have the work segmented. Two additional contractors with the competence will be given two segments of that project, segments where the main contractor has not been able to demonstrate a sense of commitment to finishing the work. There has been an agreement among all parties to move the project forward”.
Blackmoore says the aim is to ensure that the project is completed within the shortest possible time.