All costs for repairing Ministry of Health plumbing issue covered by contractor

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All costs for repairing Ministry of Health plumbing issue covered by contractor

Emile Elias, the executive chairman of NH International, the construction company and developer of the new Ministry of Health headquarters at Queen’s Park East, Port of Spain, has vowed to foot the bill for all repairs related to the leak that flooded several floors of the building on Tuesday,

According to reports, Elias stated that in accordance with the Build-Own-Lease-Transfer (BOLT) contract, through which the Ministry of Health building was constructed, outfitted and financed, Asclepius Holdings Ltd is responsible for the maintenance of the building for the 15 years of the lease arrangement. Asclepius is a company that is jointly owned by NH and Republic Bank Ltd, which is financing the project.

Elias, in an interview with Guardian Media, said: “There was a little leak. The plumber went to fix it. It wasn’t properly done and when they came and turned on the pressure floor by floor, it ruptured because the repair work wasn’t properly done. Anyway, it is now fixed and everything is back to normal and obviously, the internal investigation and otherwise are going on.”

Elias added that the repair and clean-up operations were handled at no cost to the ministry or the government.

“It’s free. It is a minor leak in a ladies’ toilet so in a normal course of business, the contractor has to fix that. That didn’t cost the Government anything. Also, the clean-up would not cost the ministry or Government anything,” Elias said.

Despite the repairs, the Ministry of Health Administrative Building remained closed yesterday. It is scheduled to reopen for business today.

The Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) confirmed on Tuesday evening that the leak had been repaired and clean-up efforts were completed.

The building, which was officially opened on August 7, 2023, by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, is equipped with office space for more than 800 employees, 32 conference and meeting rooms, a digital library, a daycare and breastfeeding room and two fully equipped gyms.