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After two and a half years, no response was sent by HLDC to CWSA – Saunders

After two and a half years, no response was sent by HLDC to CWSA – Saunders


General Manager of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) Garth Saunders says he is astounded by certain comments made at a meeting held by the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) with owners of houses being built at Green Hill.{{more}}

Saunders told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview on Wednesday, that after listening to an audio recording of the meeting held on November 6, he was “astounded” that a speaker addressing the meeting claimed that he had written to the CWSA in sometime in 2013, requesting water for the homes and that he was “upset” with the CWSA and blamed them for the inability of homeowners to move into their homes in December.

The CWSA general manager, however, showed SEARCHLIGHT a letter that the HLDC wrote to the CWSA in April of 2012, not 2013, giving details of the project, including the project’s expected completion date of 2016.

Saunders also said that 2 1⁄2 years after providing the HLDC with information on the cost of supplying the project area with water, no response was ever sent by the HLDC to the CWSA regarding the payment of funds or their planned work schedule.

“I am amazed that the HLDC could be upset with the CWSA over not having the water supply, when in fact, the HLDC, after 2 1⁄2 years, had not paid for the water supply, nor had they even communicated with the CWSA or indicate how or when they were going to pay,” Saunders said.

He added that the only intervening piece of correspondence from the HLDC was a request in October of 2013 for a temporary standpipe in order to facilitate construction.

On the audio tape, the speaker is heard telling the meeting that HLDC had to “remind” the CWSA of the outstanding work to be done; however Saunders noted that it seemed that the management of HLDC had not done proper research in the intervening 2 1⁄2 years and had not realized that the ball was in fact the court of the HLDC.

According to Saunders, the only reminder the CWSA needed was the payment of funds by the HLDC of the required amount specified in their letter of May of 2012. It was only at that point that the installation work would have commenced.

The speaker in the audio tape was identified as HLDC chair Beresford Phillips, who, along with general manager Elvis Charles, addressed the concerns raised by the homeowners during the meeting.

One of the irate homeowners secretly recorded the more than two-hour long session and distributed the audio tape to a number of media houses and other individuals.

Phillips, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Monday, said that he was not blaming the CSWA for the delay, which would see homeowners moving into the houses as late as February next year.

On the recording he was heard saying: “This is something we really have no control over; however, we are responsible because we are constructing the houses, we have to account to you, even though it is not directly our fault. We have to depend on Water Authority to distribute the laying of the pipes and getting the water to your homes.”

The chair also said that he was “upset” with the CWSA because they had the plans for the housing project, not only for Green Hill, but other projects on the island.

He was also heard saying that they had never had that experience before with the CWSA, who he admitted informed the HLDC that stocks (pipes and fittings) were low due to works carried out at the Argyle international airport.