Prasad: Park project a disaster

Deputy PM and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics Biman Prasad with Kamal Gounder during their visit at the partly constructed Govind Park in Ba. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad has labelled Ba’s Govind Park upgrade project a disaster because “it was poorly managed and handled”.

During his visit to Ba yesterday, the minister has also called for an urgent and thorough investigation of the matter, saying all those involved in the manipulation of construction works would be taken to task.

“We, as a government, have allocated an additional budget, we are determined to fix the ground,” Prof Biman said.

“We are very unhappy about the stadium and we are told that the design was changed several times from the original plan.

“In fact, I’ve seen the stadium and if you look at the seats, if you look at the way in which it is built, it does not only comply with proper safety standards, but also if you just look at the seats you can also believe big people don’t fit in those seats, and it is absolutely ridiculous.”

Prof Biman said there must be a thorough investigation into how the original contractor, who constructed the stadium, was able to manipulate, change the design and build it the way he thought was appropriate.

He said for the past six years, people of the soccer crazy town have been denied the chance to host sporting tournaments.

“The funding that was allocated, about $4 million, was to cover the whole stadium, including the grounds, and have the stadium ready for sporting events. It didn’t happen.

“So, what we are saying is that we should investigate how the Construction Implementation Unit manages how contractors were allowed to change jobs and change the design and put out something which is not up to standard, which is not complying with all the safety standards.

“We honestly believe those responsible must be held to account for the Govind Park saga.”

Prof Biman said the Government would approach one of the competent agencies to carry out investigations.

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