Gonzales commends WASA workers; dismisses talk of substandard workmanship

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Gonzales commends WASA workers; dismisses talk of substandard workmanship

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales has urged customers to ignore “several conspiracy theories” as it relates to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and the issues surrounding the 48-inch concrete main at the Caroni Water Treatment Plant, which left over 200,000 customers without water.

He has also dismissed allegations that WASA workers undertook shoddy workmanship and that he gave “instructions” to WASA’s management to turn on the water while the pipeline which had been repaired with concrete was still wet.

“This was no time to cast blame or engage in conspiracy theories. Let’s show our capacity to manage our circumstances with dignity and decorum. With the help of God, we will get through this,” he said.

He said “The repair crisis proved very difficult for the workers and despite several estimated timelines for completion, the authority was only able to recommission the line at around 10 am today (yesterday).”

Noting the widespread inconvenience to many citizens, Gonzales said a team of 25 WASA workers laboured around the clock to have the line repaired.

“I wish to commend the workers of the authority who spent sleepless nights during the repair process.”

“I am advised that it will take over 48 hours for the distribution system to become fully charged for the necessary pressures to build for all affected communities to get their supply of water. I appeal to the good conscience and patience of our citizens as we navigate through this difficulty,” Gonzales said.

Admitting that “crises do happen from time to time”, Gonzales urged customers to ignore “several conspiracy theories” placed in the public domain to further exacerbate the unease of citizens.

“All I ask citizens to do is to please ignore. These uninformed comments are unhelpful and unproductive.”

There were rumours that WASA employees had done substandard work in fixing the line, Gonzales said, “and I gave instructions to turn on the water when the concrete was not dry”.

Gonzales said the pipeline which ruptured was constructed in the 1970s. “It’s old concrete pipes that the authority no longer uses.”

In the interim, Gonzales said, a temporary repair was done “pending the construction of a new bypass line over the next three days by WASA employees”.