MINISTER of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan said his re-tendering of contracts to build highways has brought in bids that in total are hundreds of millions of dollars cheaper than original bids made under the former government. He gave an account at a PNM meeting on Thursday at La Horquetta Regional Complex.
He said the former regime had in 2009/2010 approved a bid to build the Solomon Hochoy Highway project some $1.7 billion above the engineer’s estimate, and without land acquisition being done.
In contrast, under his government the project was broken into packages, each awarded to local, small contractors and each below the engineer’s estimate. Sinanan lamented that some lots of land to be acquired were valued at $5 or $6 million but compensation of $94 and $95 million was paid under the former regime. He said the Curepe Interchange Project was previously to be built for $600 million, but under him the budget was now $321 million.
Sinanan alleged kickbacks paid in a $250 million project under the former government. For the Churchill Roosevelt Highway Extension, a contractor dropped his former price by $200 million. Another project saw a $110 million drop in bidding price. In reply to critics of a “highway to nowhere”, Sinanan said, “I’m proud to be from Sangre Grande. Sangre Grande is not nowhere.”